Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Amazon Rainforest fire LIVE updates: State of emergency declared – fires hit record number | World | News

  • Thousands of acres have been burned and destroyed by the numerous wildfires sweeping Brazil
  • Shocking maps show the true extent of the blaze, which have coated more than half of Brazil in smoke
  • San Paolo turned dark and stormy today when thick smoke from the fires descended on the busy city
  • Since Thursday, 9,500 wildfires have been detected
  • According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) satellite data showed an 83 percent increase in fires this year

Read below for the latest updates on the Amazon rainforest fire

Brazil’s Amazon basin is home to the largest tropical forest in the world.

The forest’s carbon store is vital to the process of slowing down the pace of global warning.

Wildfires are common in the Amazon’s dry season, but this year have seen record numbers of raging blazes in the region.

More than 72,000 fires have been recorded in the Amazon Rainforest since January 2019.

And the number keeps growing this year. In comparison, there were fewer than 40,000 fires for the same period in 2018.

12.55pm update: State of emergency declared in Brazil

The Brazilian state of Amazonas has declared an emergency in the south of the state and in its capital Manaus over the blazes.

Images have also shown the northernmost state of Roraima covered in dark smoke.

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

12.30pm update: Smoke captured from space

Smoke from the Amazon wildfires has been captured by satellite images released by NASA.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured images of several fires burning in the states of Rondônia, Amazonas, Pará, and Mato Grosso on August 11 and August 13.

12.05pm update: How did the Amazon rainforest fire start?

Wildfires often occur in the dry season in Brazil, but this year has been worse than normal, according to INPE.

INPE said the large number of wildfires could not be attributed to the dry season or natural phenomena alone.

In addition, fires are deliberately started in efforts to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching.

Some conservationist have blamed Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the forest fires, saying he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land.

The Amazon rainforest has been fire-resistant for much of its history because of its natural moisture and humidity but NASA has said drought and human activities are causing wildfires.

A release from the space agency said: “The intensity and frequency of droughts in turn, have been linked with increases in regional deforestation and anthropogenic climate change.”

11.35am update: Brasil President Jair Bolsonaro blamed for fires

Some conservationist have blamed Mr Bolsonaro for the raging fires.

Since taking office in January he vowed to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.

Mr Bolsonaro said he disagrees with the latest data presented, saying it was the “season of the queimada”, when farmers use fire to clear land.

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

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