Fire Alarm

September 20, 2019
CARL DE SOUZA—AFP/GETTY IMAGES

On August 19, smoke filled the sky over São Paulo, Brazil. It was coming from the Amazon rain forest. In August, there were a record number of forest fires in Brazil. Many were in the Amazon. Experts say many of the fires were started on purpose. Farmers use fires to clear land. Then they plant crops or raise cattle.

This satellite image was taken on August 15. It shows part of the Amazon rain forest on fire in Brazil.

MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES/AP

A Global Problem

The Amazon is the world’s largest rain forest. It is home to millions of plant and animal species and 30 million people. The Amazon is important to the health of our planet. Its trees release oxygen.

“The fires are a real tragedy for the air we all breathe,” Moira Birss told TIME for Kids. She is with Amazon Watch. It is a conservation group in California.

In the Brazilian city of São Paulo, heavy smoke blocks the sun.

ANDRE LUCAS—PICTURE ALLIANCE/GETTY IMAGES

Brazil has sent soldiers to battle the blazes. But forest loss is still a big problem. In August, world leaders discussed a plan to help the Amazon. “We must find common solutions,” said German leader Angela Merkel.