Amazon Rainforest Fires


Caera Matthews, Staff Writer

Terrible fires have been sweeping the Amazon rainforest in Brazil over the past weeks. Though fires are not uncommon, this year Brazil has seen a 45% increase in the number of flames burning in the Amazon. These fires are an environmental issue as well as a health issue. 

Fires spread pollutants as they burn the trees into ash. These pollutants enter the atmosphere and can cause nearby areas to experience difficulty breathing and other respiratory issues. The world health organization has issued a warning to communities at risk.

The Amazon flames also have an impact on climate change. Black carbon emissions absorb sunlight and block outgoing energy. Carbon monoxide release also adds to the disaster by speeding up global warming. 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is a factor in the problem. Since Bolsonaro’s election deforestation has increased. He claims he wants to encourage private businesses to claim land in the forest which would lead to more deforestation as these businesses clear cut the forest. Bolsonaro also refused international aid as countries around the world attempted to help with the Amazon crisis. Mr. Bolsonaro has vowed to take a “zero tolerance” approach when it comes to enforcing environmental law. Environmentalists in Brazil have seen their attempts to help save the forest crumble due to lack of police and government support.

The indigenous people of the Amazon are at great risk due to these fires. Farmers have pressed at the edges of the forest but in years past they have not been able to go farther due to reservations sent in place for the indigenous people. Now Bolsonaro says that the indigenous people have “too much” land and companies and farmers should be allowed to cut down the forest. Fires have only worsened the situation. With the government offering little help indigenous people are watching their homes being burned down.

The Amazon fires have done terrible damage. As the forest continues to burn the environment with worsen and the health of those who surround the forest will decline. The Brazilian government commanded by President Bolsonaro offers little help. The Amazon will continue to burn destroying homes and ripping apart lives.