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Amazon rainforest fires are so massive they're visible from space

The wildfires in the Amazon rainforest are visible from space, 1,700 miles away. [NASA]
By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: Aug. 22, 2019 12:49 pm

Several wildfires burning their way through the Amazon rainforest are so massive they can be seen 1,700 miles away in outer space.

There are currently almost 73,000 fires of various sizes, according to CBS News. NASA said that number of fires is believed to set a new record.

On the ground, several cities in Brazil have seen their air quality deteriorate as a result of the blazes that have blackened the skies. Neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay have been impacted, as well.

"It was as if the day had turned into night," one resident, Gianvitor Dias, told the BBC. "Everyone here commented, because even on rainy days it doesn't usually get that dark. It was very impressive."

According to NASA, fires in the rainforest are rare because it is usually so wet. However, there is a brief period in the summer when they've been known to occur.

The state of Amazonas has declared a national emergency due to the fires.

The Amazon rainforest spans more than 2 million square miles — about half the size of the U.S. Known for its beauty and variety of wildlife, a number of concerns have been raised in recent years by environmentalists concerned about deforestation. 

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