The sky never goes dark while the Amazon burns

Updated: 2019-08-23 03:08
Smokes billow during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Hamaita in Amazonas State in Brazil on Aug 17, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

On Wednesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro enraged environmentalists by making unfounded claims that non-governmental organizations were starting the fires out of anger after he cut their funding.

Global outrage has torn through social media, with #PrayforAmazonas the world's top trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday.

Reuters observed plumes of smoke billowing from the forest, reaching hundreds of feet (dozens of meters) into the air, during a weeklong trip to southern Amazonas and northern Rondonia states.

"All you can see is smoke," said Thiago Parintintin, who lives in an indigenous reserve just off the Trans-Amazonian highway, pointing to the horizon.

A yellow truck bearing the logo of Brazil's forest fire fighters had just rushed past.

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