Amazon rainforest scorched by forest fires


Evan Fuller, Staff Reporter

   To put it bluntly, the Amazon rainforest is on fire, and it has been for over three weeks now. This isn’t new. As many as 80,000 forest fires have been detected in Brazil this year but only now has it been called a national emergency. Smoke blackened the skies of Brazil, especially in the Brazillian city of Sao Paulo, where the people saw pitch black in the usually pale blue sky. The scarier part is Sao Paulo is nearly 1,700 miles away from the Amazon.

   The Amazon rainforest or “lungs of the planet” accumulates 20% of the world’s generated oxygen and 10% of the planet’s diverse life. But she is also easy prey for illegal farming operations which some speculate are the cause of the fires currently in the Amazon. Slash and burn farming is a farming method that involves cutting up the surrounding plants and trees and burning them to create fertile farmland. Fires are set to make way for farmland, which is very illegal, or they just leave everything for resources to export. Now one might wonder, “How could a fire start in a rainforest?” During the wet season, it is nearly impossible for fires to occur due to heavy rains but around this time the Amazon reaches a dry period where less rainfall is present, giving the best opportunity for forest fires to occur.

   Let me put into perspective how the Amazon fires will affect the planet. Fires produce smoke, forest fires produce a lot of smoke, now imagine a forest two and a half times the size of texas on fire for three weeks straight. I spoke with Mrs. Dillenger about this problem and she came up with an interesting response. She said, “The amazon rainforest really affects the weather patterns of the area, trees release water vapor which rises up comes back down as rain”. So the forest fires can even affect the weather of the area and result in less rainfall. What if the fire spreads beyond the Amazon? Neighboring cities and forests are at risk of burning up. More than that, what about the animals? Millions upon millions of diverse life will be displaced from the Amazon, where will they go? They would be more at risk of being hunted by humans. 

   As for the operation of putting the forest fires out, efforts have been made to quench the Amazon rainforest. The workers were aided with rainfall last Thursday and the support of celebrities like Leonardo DeCaprio. But like many forest fires before, it takes a lot of manpower and a lot of supplies to make it work. In addition to ending the fires, we also need to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy. 

Social Media Caption promoting article

   You can help put out the Amazon fire by spread #AmazonRainforest in social media and by word of mouth. You can also use the Ecosia web browser on your phone or at home, even though the Chromebooks at school don’t support it. Ecosia is a web browser that plants trees every 40 searches. Link in bio (Ecosia – the search engine that plants trees)