Brazil's Amazon rainforest has seen a record number of forest fires but the one that is currently blazing acres of land is said to be the biggest forest fire on the planet. The damage done by this fire is so massive that the smoke can be seen from space!
What started the fire?
Over the years, the humidity of the Amazon rainforest has gone down drastically and in recent years, the forest sees several fires. But this time, the National Institute for Space Research said its satellite data showed 83% increase in fires in 2018.
Wildfires are often seen in the Amazon but some of them are deliberately started for illegally deforesting land for cattle ranching. INPE said that they have detected more than 72,000 fires between January and August- the highest number since records began in 2013.
What's the damage?
To put it in a simple way, at the current rate that the fire is spreading, a football pitch sized chunk of the forest is dying every minute! On Monday afternoon, the city of Sao Paulo in Brazil went completely dark as thick clouds of smoke covered the entire city almost completely blocking sunlight.
Residents from the city took to social media and shared pictures of their city that suddenly went dark in the middle of the day. What's even more surprising is that the smoke was pushed to the city by powerful winds and the fire was nearly 1,700 miles away. #PrayForAmazonia soon started trending on social media and that is when people found out that a massive fire is spreading.
The conspiracy angle
Environment conservationists and ecologists have criticised Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro and have accused him of harming the Amazon Rainforest and its indigenous population in order to benefit loggers, miners and farmers who helped him get elected.
After being elected, Bolsonaro accelerated government policies that favour development over conservation. His anti-environment rhetoric included a pledge to end "Shite ecological activism." He uses Shite as a synonym for radicalism.
The Global Impact
Nasa recently released images of the fire and its impact from space. The Amazon rainforest is the biggest rainforest on this planet and it is responsible for producing large quantities of oxygen. As the wildfire spreads, it will drastically increase the global temperature of the planet over time. There has been a tremendous loss of flora and fauna in the Amazon rainforest and a number of species of flora and fauna are endangered by this blaze.