Videos and photos of the Amazon, only the world’s largest rainforest, burning have surfaced online on popular social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. The wildfires, a regular occurrence during Brazil’s dry season, are worse than normal, thanks to the alarming increase in deliberate fires being started for the purpose of illegal deforestation and cattle ranching. By Amitha Ameen

brazil amazon wildifre burn
Photo courtesy: Daily Mail UK

Multiple images of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s financial center and one among the worlds most populous cities, revealed the city covered in a shocking blanket of thick black smoke. The daytime blackout, which lasted for a little over an hour, was due to the strong winds that brought in the smoke from the wildfire burning more than 2,700 kilometres away.

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⚠️IF YOU SEE THIS PLEASE READ AND TAG EVERY NEWS YOU CAN ⚠️ . . . The beautiful amazon forest is where we get more then 20 % of OXYGEN around the would from the breathtaking rainforest. How can we not do anything about this ! It has burned 2700KM / 1677.7 miles !!! That’s almost half of America on fire!!! We always see California fires and they get on news the next day if that. And they get put out so fast ! What’s the difference? They both take homes , the both kill , they both do damage. The difference is one helps us stay alive one is getting us smog and trash in our oceans. Please take park and share this 🌐 Please help save the forest and all the widelife -Thorn love 🥀 ——— #amazonrainforest #cnn #news #worldnews #wildfire #savetheworld #help #share #repost

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As the fire continued to ravage the Amazon rainforest, social media users attempted to draw attention of the media using the hashtag #prayforamazonia that went viral on social networking site, Twitter. Several voices of concern and prayers poured in from all corners of the country for one of the world’s most iconic environments. Some media reports even suggested that the fires have been ongoing for the past three weeks!

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Sobre o que os povos indígenas vem dizendo á muito tempo ecoados pelas palavras dos Pajés/xamãs – Do cerrado a Amazônia: – “As matas, os bichos, tudo é movimentado de ciência“ (Pajé Vicente Xakriabá. _ “A floresta está viva. Só vai morrer se os brancos insistirem em destrui-la. Se conseguirem, os rios vão desaparecer debaixo da terra, o chão vai se desfazer, as árvores vão murchar e as pedras vão rachar no calor. A terra ressecada ficará vazia e silenciosa. Os espíritos xapiri, que descem das montanhas para brincar na floresta em seus espelhos, fugirão para muito longe. Seus pais, os xamãs, não poderão mais chamá-los e fazê-los dançar para nos proteger. Não serão capazes de espantar as fumaças de epidemia que nos devoram. Não conseguirão mais conter os seres maléficos, que transformarão a floresta num caos. Então morreremos, um atrás do outro, tanto os brancos quanto nós. Todos os xamas vão acabar morrendo. Quando não houver mais nenhum deles vivo para sustentar o céu, ele vai desabar”. (Davi Kopenawa Yanomami). | _ “The forest is alive. It will only die if the whites insist on destroying it. If they can, the rivers will disappear underground, the ground will crumble, the trees will wither and the rocks will crack in the heat. The parched earth will be empty and silent. The xapiri spirits, who descend from the mountains to play in the forest in their mirrors, will flee far away. Their parents, the shamans, will no longer be able to call them and make them dance to protect us. They will not be able to ward off the epidemic fumes that devour us. They will no longer be able to contain the evil beings that will turn the forest into chaos. Then we will die, one after the other, both the whites and us. All the shamans will end up dying. When there are no more of them alive to support the sky, it will collapse (Davi Kopenawa Yanomami) _ Sabedoria indígena . . . ><•><•><•><•><•><•><•>< . . . #povosindigenas #amazonia #cerrado #QuedaDoCeu #prayforamazonia #resistenciaindigena #etnofotografia #edgarkanayko #everydaybrasil #photography #indigenous

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According to reports online, extensive and illegal cattle ranching has been one of the largest contributors for rapid deforestation in the Amazon. Additionally, president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro has also been accused of harming the rainforest to benefit corporations who helped him get elected.

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#prayforamazonia 🙏🏻😢🌳

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Images from NASA’s satellites showed the black smoke from the wildfire covering not just parts of Brazil, but it’s neighbours Bolivia and Paraguay as well.

On Wednesday several media outlets reported that the number of fires in the region have been on rise, with more than 9,500 fires being reported since Thursday while 72,000 instances have been reported since January this year.

The bio-diversity rich Amazon rainforest has been in existence for more than 55 million
years and if it were a country, it would be ranked the 9th largest in the world. Apart from being the only rainforest of its kind left and being home to more than three million different species of plants and animals and one million indigenous people, it plays a vital role in keeping our planet healthy.

Related: Development Or Survival? Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest Is Paying The Price