(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Wildfires and plumes of smoke from the Amazon rainforest can been seen from space in the latest set of satellite images captured by US space agency NASA.
The disturbing photos show smoke and fire across several Brazilian states as the crisis reaches record-breaking levels.
More than 75,000 fires have erupted since the start of the year — an 83 per cent increase on last year and the highest since records began in 2013.
The latest fires have been burning for three weeks now, prompting anti-government protests and international furore.
NASA’s images show the increase in smoke and fire activity as flames break out in Rondonia, Mato Grosso and Amazonas.
More than half of the fires are in the massive Amazon Basin, where more that 20 million people live.
Some 1663 new fires were ignited between Thursday and Friday, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
Environmental organisations and researchers say the blazes were most likely set by humans who wanted to clear and use the land for business purposes.
Amazon Watch, a non-profit organisation that works to protect the rainforest, said farmers had been setting the forest ablaze to create pastures, emboldened by Brazil’s conservative pro-business government.
“The unprecedented fires ravaging the Amazon are an international tragedy and a dangerous contribution to climate chaos,” Christian Poirier said, the organisation’s program director.
(Sources: NewsCorp Australia)