Catastrophic Fire in the Amazon Forest


Amazon forest burning.

Reign Cruz, Staff Writer

In the middle of August, the skies in the cities of Brazil have gone dark. Ash from the forest fire falls down from the sky and threatening black clouds cover the sun. Posts and hashtags began trending throughout social media and soon the world was paying attention to the blazing rampage in the area also known as the Amazon Rainforest. 

The Amazon Rainforest crosses over eight countries and about 60% of the Rainforest is located in Brazil. According to researchers, it is home to hundreds of known and unknown species of animals  on Earth. It’s made up of about 1.4 billion acres of forest and contains about half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests.

Fireman standing in the ashes of the Amazon Forest

The current fire was started by the idea of deforestation. The farmers needed more cattle but there was little land to produce grazing areas. Brazil is known to be the largest beef exporter and this earned at least $6.7 billion for the country’s economy. Farmers are poor and the plan for more land was established.  So what did they do? They set it on fire. Setting the land on fire was quicker and doesn’t waste too much energy.

Although you would think this is illegal and the government would do something about this, they haven’t. There was no punishment and the government encourages them even further to start mores fires. The attention of the hashtags and many posts of the ominous clouds and rampaging fire was trending.

Due to the amount of people from around the world giving this topic attention and wanting to help, the Brazilian government refused anyone’s help and said they were taking care of it themselves. One theory about why the Rainforest was burning was because vegetation was dry and the farmers waited for the dry season to start burning and clearing the areas.

The Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as “the lungs” of the planet. After all, it is the largest rainforest in this world. Its given nickname was due to the ability to breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Unfortunately, due to the fire, 20% of our oxygen is being taken away. If more of the forest burns down it could possibly turn into a desert region since it’s unable to process carbon dioxide at all. Why should we worry about rainforest other than our oxygen? Most of our prescribed medicine are obtained from nature. Original medicine from the Amazon forest includes: snake venom, molds, shrubs, periwinkle, and so much more.

The Amazon Forest before it was on fire.

Research says that this event can intensify climate change. These fires can spread more quickly and burn even hotter due to the warmer conditions on the planet.