Sky news reported the lands and livelihoods of those trying to farm sustainably are being wrecked by huge Amazon fires.

Politicians in Pará State are urging for the Brazilian government must send more firefighters and firefighting equipment to help try and stem enormous blazes ripping through the Amazon rainforest.

The plea comes as leading aid agencies, including the World Wildlife Fund, issue a stark warning that the fires this year could be even worse than the 2019 outbreak.

Brazil’s National Institute for Space (INPE) registered 20,670 square kilometres of burned area in the Amazon in August alone. That is equivalent to 27 square kilometres per hour.

Sky news were on the ground and witnessed ten fires in just one small area of the Área de Proteção Ambiental (APA) Triunfo do Xingu national park with just five firefighters who have been deployed to the municipality of São Félix do Xingu covering over 84,000 square kilometres.

The rivers of the Amazon, the forests surrounding them and the communities living there are shrouded in thick smoke 24 hours a day in some parts – and have been for weeks causing major concerns for the health of people living in the region.

Residents wear masks to protect themselves from the spread of Covid-19, which remains at epidemic proportions in the country, but they also wear the masks to help them breathe in the smog.

Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro consistently denies that the Amazon is on fire, despite evidence from its own environmental agencies.

Sao Felix do Xingu’s mayor, Minervinha Barros won’t openly criticise the powerful ranchers or the Brazilian government, but she says they need help immediately. The fires this year are unprecedented. She blames the changing climate.

Minervinha Barros, Sao Felix do Xingu’s mayor

The fires are fanned by strong winds, scorching temperatures and a drought. There has been no significant rainfall there for months.

As witnessed by Sky news, uncontrolled fires are wreaking havoc on small scale farmers, particularly those attempting to produce rainforest-friendly, sustainable crops like cocoa, used to make chocolate around the world.

Small cocoa farmers are heartbroken and are furious with the president and his supporters who deny the problems being faced in the Amazon basin.

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