Updated: Oct 17, 2019
In August 2019, thousands of fires burned through the Amazon rainforest in what has been called "The Burning of the Earth’s Lungs."
Environmentalists in Brazil claim that due to factors such as deforestation and climate change, many wildfires have sparked throughout the rainforest.
Satellite images from various organizations show the line of fire that is attacking the rain forest. The endless amounts of destruction and death that follow the front lines of the fire have already caused there to be an 80% increase in fires in the past year. About an eighth of the total fires this year are from this event alone, over 9,000.
Experts such as Adriane Muelbert, an ecologist who’s studied deforestation in the Amazon in regards to climate change, describes how previous years fires have been caused by a lack of rain but this year has brought much rain, she described, “That leads us to think that this is deforestation-driven fire."
Deforestation can happen due to both natural causes, such as insects, or because of people, when trees are cut down in order to free up land for farming. Farmers may burn the torn down trees so that they don’t have to transport them somewhere else. This has caused many fires in previous years and is a likely cause of the most recent onslaught of fires.
There is much work and effort that still needs to be done in order to prevent further fires and damage to the Amazon and to try to bring back what has been lost. And while there is some work being done from countries that the Amazon inhabits, spreading awareness and getting as many people involved as possible is the best hope to stop future damage to the Earth’s forests.