Photos: Illegal blazes in Amazon rainforest threaten farmland and homes

Yearly blazes that occur during the dry season in Brazil are causing havoc in the world's largest rainforest as residents battle the fires that are destroying their farmland and threatening their homes. Experts believe these fires are not a natural phenomenon but set deliberately by speculators to clear land for pasture. According to Reuters data, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has risen 34.5% in the 12 months through July, compared to last year. Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has denied any reports of forest fires in the Amazon.

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST 8 Photos
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Smoke rises from an illegally lit fire in Amazon rainforest reserve in the State of Para, Brazil on August 15. Residents and firefighters in northwestern Brazil are battling fires that are raging in the Amazon, destroying farmland and threatening their homes. (Carl De Souza / AFP)

Smoke rises from an illegally lit fire in Amazon rainforest reserve in the State of Para, Brazil on August 15. Residents and firefighters in northwestern Brazil are battling fires that are raging in the Amazon, destroying farmland and threatening their homes. (Carl De Souza / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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An aerial view of the Amazon rainforest reserve in the State of Para on August 16. The blazes that occur every year in the dry season, sent clouds of smokes billowing into the sky that could be seen and smelt from the capital of Rondonia state 24 miles (38 km) away, Reuters reported. (Carl De Souza / AFP)

An aerial view of the Amazon rainforest reserve in the State of Para on August 16. The blazes that occur every year in the dry season, sent clouds of smokes billowing into the sky that could be seen and smelt from the capital of Rondonia state 24 miles (38 km) away, Reuters reported. (Carl De Souza / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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Bricklayer Rosalino de Oliveira tries to douse a fire to protect his house near Porto Velho in the State of Rondonia on August 16. Experts say the fires that threaten the world’s largest rainforest are rarely a natural phenomenon and are mostly set deliberately by speculators to clear land for pasture. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

Bricklayer Rosalino de Oliveira tries to douse a fire to protect his house near Porto Velho in the State of Rondonia on August 16. Experts say the fires that threaten the world’s largest rainforest are rarely a natural phenomenon and are mostly set deliberately by speculators to clear land for pasture. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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Siblings Rosalino de Oliveira and Miraceli de Oliveira shield their face from the suffocating smoke as the fire approaches their house near Porto Velho, in the State of Rondonia on August 16. “Every year I suffer from this. Nobody knows who does this. They come and burn everything and run away,” Rosalino told Reuters. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

Siblings Rosalino de Oliveira and Miraceli de Oliveira shield their face from the suffocating smoke as the fire approaches their house near Porto Velho, in the State of Rondonia on August 16. “Every year I suffer from this. Nobody knows who does this. They come and burn everything and run away,” Rosalino told Reuters. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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A bird flies over a tract of the Amazon forest after it burned, in the State of Rondonia on August 14. Last week, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro denied there were any fires in the Amazon, calling it a “lie” and also slammed the media’s role in it, Reuters reported. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

A bird flies over a tract of the Amazon forest after it burned, in the State of Rondonia on August 14. Last week, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro denied there were any fires in the Amazon, calling it a “lie” and also slammed the media’s role in it, Reuters reported. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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A donkey stands tied up next to a burnt area in the State of Para on August 16. Bolsonaro has dispatched the military to fight fires and deforestation since May, but environmental experts question whether these deployments are working. (Carl De Souza / AFP)

A donkey stands tied up next to a burnt area in the State of Para on August 16. Bolsonaro has dispatched the military to fight fires and deforestation since May, but environmental experts question whether these deployments are working. (Carl De Souza / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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Smoke rises from a smoldering tree in the Amazon rainforest reserve in the State of Para on August 15. According to Brazilian government data, the first 15 days of August have seen about a 17% decrease in the number of fires as this time last year, when a sharp increase in blazes had attracted international condemnation over the alarming deforestation of a region crucial to the fight against global warming. (João Laet / AFP)

Smoke rises from a smoldering tree in the Amazon rainforest reserve in the State of Para on August 15. According to Brazilian government data, the first 15 days of August have seen about a 17% decrease in the number of fires as this time last year, when a sharp increase in blazes had attracted international condemnation over the alarming deforestation of a region crucial to the fight against global warming. (João Laet / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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Miraceli de Oliveira looks on as the fire approaches her house in the State of Rondonia on August 16. Deforestation has risen 34.5% in the 12 months through July, compared to a year earlier, Reuters reported. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

Miraceli de Oliveira looks on as the fire approaches her house in the State of Rondonia on August 16. Deforestation has risen 34.5% in the 12 months through July, compared to a year earlier, Reuters reported. (Ueslei Marcelino / REUTERS)

UPDATED ON AUG 19, 2020 11:05 AM IST
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