#PrayforAmazonia: Photos of Amazon Rainforest Fire Show Devastation of One of World's Largest Ecosystem

People around the world are using the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia as fires continue to rage in Brazil's rainforest.

Fires are moving through Brazil's Amazon rainforest at a record rate this week, and scientists warn it could strike a devastating blow to the fight against climate change.

From the other side of Earth, here’s the latest on the Amazonia fires 🌳

Produced by @CopernicusEU’s atmosphere monitoring service, it shows the smoke reaching the Atlantic coast and São Paulo 🇧🇷

DATA HERE▶️https://t.co/Q6qzFdPfIT pic.twitter.com/aJKU2YwRpJ

— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) August 20, 2019

Dramatic images and videos on social media show giant plumes of smoke rising from trees, and lines of fire leaving blackened waste. The smoke has reached all the way to the city Sao Paolo — more than 1,700 miles away. Images from the city show the sky pitch black in the middle of the afternoon, the sky and sun blanketed by smoke and ash.

🌎Just a little alert to the world: the sky randomly turned dark today in São Paulo, and meteorologists believe it’s smoke from the fires burning *thousands* of kilometers away, in Rondônia or Paraguay. Imagine how much has to be burning to create that much smoke(!). SOS🌎 pic.twitter.com/P1DrCzQO6x

— Shannon Sims (@shannongsims) August 20, 2019

The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country's space research center — the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) — began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday.

The Amazon is often referred to as the planet's lungs, producing 20 percent of the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere. Social media users were quickly drawing attention to the dangers of the fire this week.

Rain forest brazil
Aerial view of the Iriri River at the Arara indigenous land, in the Amazonian Rainforest, Para State, Brazil on March 15, 2019. A part of the rainforest before the devastation from the fires. (MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images)

A biologist Dan Schneider tweeted on Tuesday, "The number of forest fires in the Amazon Rainforest in #Brazil is up 82 percent from last year. The fires are purposely set by ranchers to clear land. They then burn out of control. The Bolsonaro govt has eliminated restrictions on burnings. This must be stopped! #PrayforAmazonia."

The AMAZON RAINFOREST has been burning for 3 WEEKS... This is our planet’s lungs covering 20% of the earth’s oxygen being burned away without any media coverage or help. RT to spread awareness #PrayForAmazonia pic.twitter.com/reoTkUjVyD

— FaZe Temperrr (@Temperrr) August 21, 2019

Just a reminder that the amazon rainforest has been ON FIRE. For 3 weeks with the media just barely covering it now . Think of all the wildlife and their homes that are being destroyed during this tragedy. #PrayForAmazonía https://t.co/0hcYLz8HPa

— 🪐🪐 (@IgTears) August 21, 2019

Just found out the most important ecosystem in the world has been burning for 16 days and have never seen anything on the media. We need to spread this and aware everyone of what's happening. #PrayforAmazonas #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/65dnM0hARP

— Carme Pérez (@keliakii) August 21, 2019

Many who are tweeting #PrayforAmazonia are particularly concerned about Brazil's far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissed the severity of the situation.

"I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame," Bolsonaro told reporters according to Reuters on Tuesday. "But it is the season of the queimada." "Season of the queimada" refers to the time of year when farmers intentionally set fire to the forest for agricultural purposes.

The Amazon rainforest provides 20% of the world's oxygen. People are deliberately starting fires in effort to illegally deforest land for cattle ranching. President Bolsonaro is letting this slide!! #AmazonRainforest #PrayforAmazonas pic.twitter.com/9pWraNgWu6

— hannah 🚀 (@negativiq) August 21, 2019

One user tweeted on Wednesday, "This is the Brazilian environmental policy under president Bolsonaro. He doesn't care about life. The Amazon Rainforest's burning for about 3 weeks and nothing's been done."

Brazil’s president is doing nothing to stop what is happening with the Amazon Rainforest. My heritage is from Brazil and it is so sad to see what is happening, it looks like a movie, but it is now. Y’all pray for Brazil! #PrayforAmazonia Brazil is destroying Brasil 😪 pic.twitter.com/vwpB6jfgLu

— Maria 🥀 (@BarrosThereza) August 20, 2019

Another said on Tuesday, "Brazil's president is doing nothing to stop what is happening with the Amazon Rainforest. My heritage is from Brazil and it is so sad to see what is happening, it looks like a movie, but it is now."

The Amazon rainforest has been on fire for weeks, and it's so bad it's literally blotting out the sun miles away https://t.co/oDjcECJVgp

— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) August 20, 2019

During his campaign in April, Bolsonaro had promised to roll back protections on Brazil's rainforest and indigenous rights, stating the country's natural resources should be exploited in a "reasonable way."

The Amazon Rainforest has been burning for 3 weeks straight and it’s only just being spoken about. Please, help raise awareness of the death and destruction of many types of wildlife. It’s only a matter of time before the whole rainforest is gone. #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/sk4aM5pt7o

— emma (@its_emmx) August 20, 2019

The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is considered vital in slowing global warming, and it is also home to uncountable species of fauna and flora. Roughly half the size of the U.S., it is the largest rainforest on the planet.

When Notre Dame was burning, the world's media covered every moment of it and billionaires rushed to restore it. Right now the Amazon is burning, the lungs of our planet. It has been burning for 3 weeks now. No media coverage. No billionaires. #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/MHGaxiWFgn

— ᗷᖇIᗴ (@plurrific) August 21, 2019

It’s such a catastrophic situation, still no one cares, rain forest 🌳 burning, glaciers melting, species getting extinct and we are worried about profit margins, when we’ll realize that we can’t eat, drink or breath money 💵!!!!!#PrayforAmazonia #AmazonRainforest pic.twitter.com/J9qnL9e19r

— Joe Vignesh (@JyothiVignesh) August 21, 2019

This is so sad- #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/D13lJeof3G

— ADAM LAMBERT (@adamlambert) August 20, 2019

Just found out the most important ecosystem in the world has been burning for 16 days and have never seen anything on the media. We need to spread this and aware everyone of what's happening. #PrayforAmazonas #PrayforAmazonia pic.twitter.com/65dnM0hARP

— Carme Pérez (@keliakii) August 21, 2019

The amazon forest has been on fire for 3 weeks now. This is a huge part of the world's ecosystem and there's no media coverage being put out. Srsly, where are the billionaires who are in power in times like this? Somebody needs to act now.#PrayforAmazoniapic.twitter.com/TwqX9SMAWf

— 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘢𝘥𝘦 ⎊ (@classymixer) August 21, 2019