What caused the fire?
While the rainforest is usually wet and humid, July and August, the beginning of the dry season, are the driest months in the area. November according to NASA. The fires are largely related to people clearing land for agriculture or livestock.
Which areas are affected?
Satellite images show fires in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondonia, Para and Mato Grosso. According to Euronews, the state of Amazonas is hardest hit.
How tall is it?
You can see the smoke from space. The Sentinel satellites of the European Union Earth Observation Program have taken pictures of "significant amounts of smoke" over the states of Amazonas, Rondonia and other areas.
The sky over San Paulo, Brazil, darkened for an hour on Monday afternoon after the winds carried smoke from a distance of about 1,700 miles.
How did the public react?
Social Media launched the hashtags #Prayfor Amazonas and #AmazonRainforest . The Twitter users have criticized the media for paying more attention to the fire in Notre Dame and other news than the rain forest fires. Social media users also called on billionaires for lack of donations.
Twitter pointed out that the rainforest generates more than 20% of global oxygen and 10% of the world's known biodiversity.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was also criticized for his failure to take action and for encouraging logging and agriculture in the Amazon. In early July, an anonymous high-ranking Brazilian official told the BBC Bolsonaro, encouraging deforestation.
NASA has monitored the fires. Last week, the Aqua Satellite and Sentinel 3 tweeted images of the smoke on social media.
How can I help?
It is unlikely that you are one of the people who can actually help put out the fire. But there are other ways you can protect the rainforest.
- Donate to the Rainforest Action Network to protect one acre of Amazon rainforest.
- Donate to the Rainforest Trust to buy land in the rainforest. Since 1988, the organization has saved more than 23 million acres.
- Reduce your paper and wood consumption. Check with the Rainforest Alliance if your purchases are rainforest-proof. You can also buy rainforest-proof products on the Allianz website.
- The World Wide Fund for Nature is committed to protecting the myriad species in the Amazon and around the world.
- Ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches.
- Search the Change.org petitions. An attorney in Rio Branco has collected over 77,000 of his 150,000 signatures to investigate the fires in the Amazon.
- Donate to Amazon Watch, an organization that protects the rainforest, defends indigenous rights and works against climate change.
- Donated to the Amazon Conservation Team to fight climate change, protect the Amazon, and strengthen indigenous peoples.
- Amazon Conservation accepts donations (which may be tax deductible) and lists exactly where your money is going. They can help to plant trees, promote education, protect habitats, buy a solar panel, preserve native land and much more.
- Turn to your elected officials and listen to your voice.
Originally released on August 21 at 12:24. PT.
Update, 13:24 PT : Adds more places to donate.