The Amazon Fire

Hannah Tovar, Reporter

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It has been a tragic year for the Amazon Rainforest. A massive fire that began in January of  2019 has been spreading rapidly over the past few months. At the press of time, it’s only getting worse. More than two million acres of forest have been burned, and are continuing to burn. There seems to be no stopping the raging fire anytime soon.

The main reason for the fire has to do with deforestation. Deforestation is an act of cutting and burning many acres of forest for logging, livestock ranching, and building expansion. It is becoming a serious problem all around the world. The fires, or what people call, ‘slash and burn’, is in fact an illegal act, but, unfortunately, it is not taken seriously enough, making it easier to let the Amazon burn to ashes. Deforestation has only been increasing over the years, and regrettably, no one seems to be addressing the issue. 

Although fires in the Amazon are quite common due to droughts, this year’s fire is evident to have been started by the activities of humans. Throughout the year of 2019, researchers say that there have been over seventy to eighty thousand fires in the area, (that is double the number of fires in 2018). The current fires may have to do with an outbreak of fire that farmers may have intentionally, or accidentally let overgrown. 

This is a very serious situation that requires a lot of help  around the world. A little known fact about the Amazon forest is that it produces 20% of the world’s oxygen. The Amazon is called ‘the lungs of the planet,’ and now that it is being burned at an extremely high rate, there will only be more problems caused. Not only does it produce a large amount of our oxygen, but it is also home to countless animal species, but unfortunately many of these animals will become endangered. The Amazon forest also holds many resources that are used for many things in our world, including different types of food and medicine.

The large amount of smoke from the fire is now visible from satellites in space. The smoke is detrimental to our planet, as it is releasing an extremely large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is heavily damaging the ozone layer that protects us from harmful things outside of our planet.

Although it may not seem like there are a lot of ways to contribute to this cause, there are still many ways to help. Try to educate people who are unaware of what has been occurring. If possible, even a simple donation to a charity for this cause can also be a great help, charities such as the Rainforest Trust, or the Rainforest Alliance are just a few of many charities to donate to.