On Monday afternoon, the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, darkened – but it was not some strange space event. Powerful winds carried smoke from forest fires burning nearly 1,700 miles away, the BBC reported. Nearly 73,000 fires were detected by Brazilian space research center INPE, according to Reuters. That's a record number for this year, the agency said.
Smoke traveled from fires burning in the Brazilian states of Rondonia and Amazonas and blackened the sky above the city for about an hour, the BBC added.
"It was as if the day had turned into night," resident Janvitor Diaz told the BBC. "Everyone here commented, because even on rainy days, it usually doesn't get that dark. It was very impressive."
And not only the inhabitants of the city saw the smoke. NASA snapped photos of wildfires from space last week.
The agency has released satellite images of multiple fires breaking through the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondonia, Para and Mato Grosso from August 11 and 13 this year. The smoke seems to darken the states in the frightening images.
The agency stated that fires were rare in the Amazon region for most of the year because wet weather maintained flames; fires usually increase in July and August with the onset of the dry season. NASA explained the peak of "activity" by early September and stopped by mid-November.
NASA stated that satellite observations indicate that "total fire activity in the Amazon" is slightly below average compared to the last 15 years.
The state of Amazonas was declared a national emergency earlier this month by fire. This is the fourth most affected area in Brazil this summer, Euronews reports.
Fires are on fire as concerns about the future of the Amazon are high. Since taking office in January, right-wing Brazilian Presidenthas been accused of damaging the Amazon rainforest and indigenous populations for benefiting loggers, miners and farmers who have helped him. to be elected.
Bolsonsaro, whose anti-environmental rhetoric includes a commitment to ending "Shiite environmental activism", called into question recent official figures showing deforestation increased by 88% in June compared to the same period last year. He uses the word "Shiite" as a synonym for radicalism, not as a branch of Islam.