On Monday afternoon, the whole city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, went completely dark – as it turns out, the city was buried in smoke by the strong winds coming from the Amazon rainforest fires burning nearly 1,700 miles away. According to Reuters, Brazil’s space research center INPE has detected almost 72,843 wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

(This photo was taken during Amazon fires in 1989)

The research center states that their satellite data showed an 83% increase in the same period in 2018, showing that this year Amazon has suffered a record number of forest fires.

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The citizens of Sao Paulo were shocked when they witnessed a daytime blackout, one Twitter user said: “Imagine how much has to be burning to create that much smoke”.

Image credits: shannongsims

Image credits: shannongsims

Image credits: shannongsims

The blackout lasted around an hour and came from the fires burning in the states of Amazonas and Rondonia. Together with the veil of smoke the levels of CO2 spiked greatly in the surrounding areas.

Image credits: Leandro Matozo/GloboNews

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But they weren’t the only ones who noticed an increased fire activity. NASA released photos taken from space which show smoke surrounding the Amazon rainforest.

Image credits: leandromota

Image credits: NASA

Even though the Amazon has been relatively fire-resistant due to its natural moisture and humidity, wildfires have increased during the last couple of decades and the cause is attributed to a combination of drought and human activity.

Image credits: NASA

Experts associate this year’s increase with Jair Bolsonaro who took office as president in January and vowed to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring the increased deforestation.

Image credits: NASA

Here’s how people reacted

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