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 forest 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 rainforest fires in 1989)

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

Image credits: shannongsims

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.

Image credits: Leandro Matozo/GloboNews

Image credits: bilocabr

Image credits: sevenstarsARMY

 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.