Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Amazon fires map: How much of the Amazon Rainforest has been LOST by ravaging wildfires? | World | News

Wildfires are raging across Brazil at a record rate according to Brazil’s space agency with more than 70,000 fires detected in the region this year alone. Brazil’s characteristic intense heat, severe droughts and skyrocketing deforestation has stoked the turbulent infernos as they make their catastrophic path across the world’s largest tropical forest. The wildfire blazes have grown so potent, they have blackened the skies above Sao Paulo, plunging the country’s largest city into darkness.

How much of the Amazon Rainforest has been LOST by ravaging wildfires?

The shocking map from InfoAmazonia below reveals the staggering extent of the wildfires raging across Brazil right now.

The red dots on the chart indicate a fires burning within the last 24 hours, while yellow shading shows where the most intense blazes are burning right now.

Brazil’s space research centre Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), recorded 72,843 fires in the Amazon this year alone, marking an 83 percent surge compared to the same period in 2018.

Amazon fires map: Amazon fires map

Amazon fires map: How much of the Amazon rainforest has been ravaged by the wildfires? (Image: REUTERS/INFO AMAZONIA)

The INPE said satellite images revealed 9,507 new forest fires have burned in the country since Thursday.

Most of the recent flames were located in the Amazon basin, which is home to the world’s largest tropical forest seen as vital to countering global warming.

The savage blazes led to Amazonas declaring a state of emergency on Monday after three weeks of particularly severe fires have plagued the country.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus today tweeted: “Smoke from the fires currently burning in the Amazon rainforest is covering about half of Brazil. We are in a climate emergency.”

Amazon fires map: Amazon fires map

Amazon fires map: A map showing the number of fires across Brazil since 2000 (Image: INFO AMAZONIA)

The daytime blackout, which lasted around one hour and came about after strong winds carried the intense forest fire smoke from the burning states of Amazonas and Rondonia, more than 1,700 miles (2,700km) to São Paulo, plunged half of the country into darkness.

As the largest tropical rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming.

The Amazon basin encompasses 72,700,000 square miles, of which 2,100,000 square miles are covered by the rainforest.

This region includes territory belonging to nine nations, 60 percent which is located within Brazil.

Amazon fires map: São Paulo blackout

Amazon fires map: The daytime blackout in São Paulo between 2-3pm (Image: TWITTER)

Satellite imagery reveals that the northernmost state of Roraima is coated in dark smoke and the Amazonas capital Manaus has been on environmental alert since Friday as a direct result of the fires.

Acre, on the border with Peru, has been on environmental alert since Friday.

Wildfires have also increased in Mato Grosso and Para, two states where Brazil’s agricultural industry has pushed into the Amazon basin and spurred deforestation.

Wildfires are common in Brazil – especially during the dry season, but the INPE has said the number of fires do not correlate to the normal levels of wildfires from previous dry seasons.

Amazon fires map: Satellite image of fires

Amazon fires map: A NASA satellite image of the fires in the Amazon taken on August 13 (Image: NASA)

The blazing infernos have rapidly developed as a result of the unprecedented warmth and dryness across the country this year, but humans are also to blame for cutting down the forests.

It is believed the fires were started deliberated in an effort to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching.

According to Reuters, the Brazilian President recently disregarded the space agency’s data, saying it was the “season of the queimada”, when farmers use fire to clear land.

He added: “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame.”

Amazon fires map: Forest fires in the Amazon

Amazon fires map: More than 9,500 fires have occurred in the Amazon since Thursday (Image: REUTERS)

Inpe researcher Alberto Setzer told Reuters: “There is nothing abnormal about the climate this year or the rainfall in the Amazon region, which is just a little below average.

“The dry season creates favourable conditions for the use and spread of fire, but starting a fire is the work of humans, either deliberately or by accident.”

The recent unrelenting blazes have sparked controversy and concerns about right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies.

Scientists have said deforestation and development in the Amazon has escalated since the president took office in January – instituting policies which favour development over conservation.

Amazon fires map: Fire hazards map

Amazon fires map: INPE fire hazard map showing the risk of wildfires across S. America (Image: INPE)

President Bolsonaro also is facing backlash after he fired the head of the space agency amid rows over its deforestation data.

INPE insists its data is 95 percent accurate and the agency’s credibility and veracity has previously been defended by several scientific institutions, including the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

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