Amazon Fire


Nasa Earth Observatory

The smoke from the amazon fire can been seen in space.

Camila Lazaro, Staff Writer

The “planet’s lungs” has turned into a frightening environmental tragedy because a widespread forest fire in the Amazon jungle has been killing millions of acres since January. The smoke can actually be seen in space. According to “National Geographic Magazine,” the fire has burned 7,200 square miles, nearly the size of New Jersey! 

The flames are currently threatening 265 endangered species, according to CBC NEWS and Planet Based News.“Animals have very few choices,” said Mazeika Sullivan, an associate professor at the Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources. “They can try to hide by burrowing or going into water. They can be displaced or they can perish. In this situation, a lot of animals will die from flames, heat from the flames, or smoke inhalation.” Ten percent of animal species on earth lives in the Amazon rain forest, meaning that most likely some of the animals species will die.

And it’s not just the animals that are going to struggle. “When you take away those animals, all of a sudden you are taking away the ability of those trees to regenerate,” Sullivan said. Scientists are estimating that least 80 percent of trees will die out. 

The wildfires are burning “the planet’s lungs,” and can also burn the lungs of the people who live close to the fire. People who are close to the fire can be at risk of serious health problems, including respiratory  diseases, especially in children. “We have some anecdotal reports of increase of certain respiratory diseases in children but nothing that we can report from a systematic monitoring,”said Dr. Maria Neira, director of the World Health Organization, environment and social determinants of health department. People who live close to the Amazon fire have been evacuated and there have been no deaths reported.

There are a lot of possibilities to how this forest fire happened. The Brazil environmental minister, Ricardo Salles tweeted  that the Amazon fire was caused by dry weather, wind and heat. On the other hand, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said that the fires are “definitely human-induced” and can not be caused by natural causes like lightning strikes. Alberto Sentzer, a scientist at the National Institute for Space Research said  that the fires are 99 percent a result of human actions “either deliberately or by accident.” According to Markets Insider, farmers are being blamed due to their seasonal “slash and burn” techniques in order to clear land for their crops and since it was dry season it made it easier for the fire to spread.

However, many conservationists are blaming Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, for the Amazon fire. President Bolsonaro guaranteed to open the Amazon to agriculture and mining which encourage farmers to start illegal fires to clear land according to CNN.  As stated by “The Guardian,” President Bolsonaro tried to put the blame on non-governmental organizations so he could save himself the embarrassment.  “On the question of burning in the Amazon, which in my opinion may have been initiated by NGOs because they lost money, what is the intention? To bring problems to Brazil,” Bolsonar is reported as saying. When asked if he had evidence of the non-government organization for causing the Amazon fire he replied, “No written plan,” and “That’s not how it’s done.”

The fire is still going on, and not a lot of people are caring about it. “We pay attention to the things that sound more fun or distract us from the way feel,” said Round Lake High School Spanish teacher and environment champion, Ms. Kera Sanchez. “But in reality what we are doing is  ignoring the negative things in our lives, pushing them into the side.” 

Sanchez said there are a lot of ways we can help, namely by reducing wood and paper, oil, and beef and by donating money if we can. Also we can  help by “just being aware of other countries, their problems and their issues is the no. 1 thing we can do,” said Sanchez. “Being informed and taking the time to understand other countries and issues that they have [because] if we continue to ignore problems in the world eventually, yes it will catch up to us.”

 It’s never too late to help stop the amazon fire, donate money here or reduce your wood, paper, oil, or beef to help with the fire.