The Biggest Fire in a Decade

Juan Diego’s opinions and thoughts of the Amazon Forest fires.

An overview of the active fires in the Amazon Rainforest.

An overview of the active fires in the Amazon Rainforest.

Even though they are all the way in Brazil, the fires in the Amazon to seem to be affecting everyone. Here in Utah, we are over 5,000 miles away from the chaos in the Amazon Rainforest but we all seem to have an opinion. Senior and Co-President of Environmental Club Alyssa Zweber says, “I think what’s happening in the Amazon right now is very tragic and people around the world should work together to better protect our natural resources. This fire will negatively impact the whole world’s environment, because the Amazon Rainforest is one of the biggest suppliers of clean air.”

Most people have decided that the fires are a completely negative event but sophomore Hayley Hickman says, “I personally think that wildfires can be both good and bad. When in control and in confined areas they can help to prevent future fires and also help other plants to grow. When the fires aren’t looked after properly they can be damaging and spread quickly. I believe that if we were just to watch after these fires a little more closely then wildfires wouldn’t be such a problem.” 

People are also arguing about whether the fires are natural or unnatural and why people would be intentionally burning down the “lungs of the earth.” Some claim it has something to do with demands for beef, in fact earth science teacher Gregg Alex says, “The first thing I thought after reading about the recent fires, was that this would be the right time to stop eating beef. If we create a market for beef, we create incentives for farmers to burn down the forests.” Alex continues, “A major reason why the forest is being cleared is to pasture cattle. Rainforest soils are of poor quality, so the output from Amazon pastures declines rapidly causing farmers to clear more forests. Abandoned pastures erode away and become deserts.” Sophomore Madeleine Bogus agrees with Alex saying, “The global demand for beef has made that land in the amazon much more valuable to raise cattle on and some ranchers are illegally burning it down to clear the land to grow cattle on and they’ve been doing it for decades.” 

The Amazon fire is still burning as of today. There are 670 million acres in the Amazon and so far, 4.6 million of it has been consumed by the fire. It is not irreversible yet. People here in Utah can still help to plant more trees and donate to the rainforests cause.