These Heartbreaking Photos Show The Devastation Of The Amazon Fires

More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest in 2019, leaving a trail of ash and devastation in what is often called the "lungs of the planet."

The Amazon rainforest has seen more than 80,000 fires sweep across its lush ecosystems this year, which, according to Brazil’s space agency INPE, marks an 80% increase over last year. The Amazon rainforest is home to 10% of all known species on Earth and soaks up vast amounts of carbon dioxide, which is essential to fighting global climate change.

In response, the Brazilian government has deployed some 44,000 troops to help fight the fires that have resulted in huge plumes of smoke blanketing the region, turning day into night in the Western Hemisphere's biggest city. The dramatic increase in fires has gained international attention as well, including from world leaders at the G7 summit in France who promised a $22 million aid package to help combat the fires, an offer Brazil quickly rejected.

“The Amazon forest is a subject for the whole planet. We can help you reforest. We can find the means for your economic development that respects the natural balance," French President Emmanuel Macron said. "But we cannot allow you to destroy everything.”

These photos show the total devastation left in the wake of fires that continue to rage in the Amazon rainforest.

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