Internet InfoMedia rains are scarce in the amazon instead megafires are raging

Hundreds of square miles of the rainforest have burned as countries in the region battle a record number of fires fueled by extreme weather.

By this time of the year, rain should be drenching large swaths of the Amazon rainforest. Instead, a punishing drought has kept the rains at bay, creating dry conditions for fires that have engulfed hundreds of square miles of the rainforest that do not usually burn.

The fires have turned the end of the dry season in the northern part of the giant rainforest into a crisis. Firefighters have struggled to contain enormous blazes that have sent choking smoke into cities across South America.

A record number of fires so far this year in the Amazon has also raised questions about what may be in store for the world’s biggest tropical rainforest when the dry season starts in June in the far larger southern part of the jungle.

Last month, Venezuela, northern Brazil, Guyana and Suriname, which encompass vast stretches of the northern Amazon, recorded the highest number of fires for any February, according to Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research, which has been tracking fires in the rainforest for 25 years. Fires also burned across Colombia’s Andes highlands, as well as parts of that country’s Amazon territory.

Firefighters working to contain blazes in January in the mountains near Bogotá, Colombia. Fires have also burned in Colombia’s patch of the Amazon.Federico Rios for The New York Times

The fires in the Amazon, which reaches across nine South American nations, are the result of an extreme drought fueled by climate change, experts said.



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The map locates the Amazon rainforest, which includes Roraima, Brazil’s northernmost state, as well as Boa Vista, Roraima’ s capital.

Internet InfoMedia AMAZON FIRESmap 335

GUYANA

VENEZUELA

SURINAME

ANDES

Bogotá

Atlantic

Ocean

COLOMBIA

Boa Vista

Roraima

Amazon R.

amazon rainforest

BRAZIL

BOLIVIA

Rio de Janeiro

500 miles

By The New York Times

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