Amazon in Brazil is on fire

Amazon in Brazil is on fire

Thousands of fires are ravaging the Amazon rainforest in Brazil - the most intense blazes for almost a decade.

The northern states of Roraima, Acre, Rondônia and Amazonas have been particularly badly affected.

The official figures show more than 75,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year - the highest number since 2013. That compares with 40,000 in the same period in 2018.

Activists say the anti-environment rhetoric of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has encouraged such tree-clearing activities.

According to the European Union's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, the smoke has been travelling as far as the Atlantic coast. It has even caused skies to darken in São Paulo - more than 3,200km away, BBC reported.

The Amazon basin is crucial to regulating global warming, with its forests absorbing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions every year. But when trees are cut or burned, the carbon they are storing is released into the atmosphere and the rainforest's capacity to absorb carbon emissions is reduced.