(CNN) – The fires raging in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest have scientists warning it could strike a devastating blow to the fight against climate change.
The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), began tracking them in 2013.
They’ve recorded over 72,000 fires in Brazil this year, with more than half in the Amazon region.
That’s more than an 80% increase compared to last year.
The Amazon is often referred to as the planet’s lungs, producing 20% of the oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere.
It’s the largest Rainforest on the planet and is home to uncountable species of plants.
Many are blaming the unprecedented surge in wildfires on President Jair Bolsonaro who took office in January, vowing to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.