Published On: Fri, Aug 23rd, 2019

Amazon Rainforest fire current status: What is the latest news – how much has been burned? | World | News


World leaders have urged Brazil to take action against the fires blazing through the Amazon rainforest. French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an “international crisis”, and needs to be discussed at the upcoming G7 summit. Brazil has had more than 72,000 fires this year – an 84 percent increase on the same period in 2018 according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research.

More than half of those fires were in the Amazon, which is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming.

World leaders are applying pressure to Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said his country does not have the resources to tackle the flames.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Vardakar has said Ireland will attempt to block a free trade deal between the European Union and South American Mercosur bloc unless Brazil takes action to protect the Amazon rainforest.

The Irish Independent reported Mr Vardakar as saying: “There is no way that Ireland will vote for the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement if Brazil does not honour its environmental commitments.”

Read More: Amazon rainforest fire: How to spot the FAKE photos as Twitter reacts 

How much of the forest is burning?

An estimated measure done by Express.co.uk, also shown below, shows approximately 640 million acres have been affected by the fire.

Based on Google’s alert system, the area surrounded by the fire covers more than half of Brazil.

An exact number is not known, and the size and scale of the rainforest and devastation mean it may not ever be known.

Read More: Amazon fires: Brazil’s Bolsonaro warns ‘meddler’ Macron

What has caused the blazes?

Environmentalists have blamed deforestation for an increase in fires and accuse Brazil’s

right-wing President Bolsonaro on cutting protection of an area deemed crucial in combating climate change.

In July, there was a spike in deforestation, which was followed by increased burning in August.

Brazil’s government has complained it is the target of a smear campaign, by critics who say President Bolsonaro is not doing enough to curb widespread deforestation.

Read More: Amazon rainforest fire: How to spot the FAKE photos as Twitter reacts 

Mr Macron tweeted of the situation: “Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20 percent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire.”

Mr Bolsonaro responded with his own tweet, writing: “I regret that Macron seeks to make personal political gains in an internal matter for Brazil and other Amazonian countries. The sensationalist tone he used does nothing to solve the problem.”

Onyx Lorenzoni, the Brazilian president’s chief of staff, had earlier accused European countries of exaggerating environmental problems in Brazil to disrupt its commercial interests.

According to website globo.com, Mr Lorenzoni said: ”There is deforestation in Brazil, yes, but not at the rate and level that they say.”

Satellite images show smoke from the Amazon reaching across the South American continent to the Atlantic coast and Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, according to the World Meteorological Organisation.

Earlier this week, Sao Paulo was plunged into darkness in the middle of the day, when thick plumes of smoke from the flames covered the city.

Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall.

Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, on Thursday said he had spoken to Bolsonaro and would send three “brigades of specialists in forest fires and environmental research, who will help mitigate the tragedy in the Amazon rainforest.”



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