The Amazon rainforest is burning due to a combination of human activities and natural causes. The main cause of this is deforestation. In the Amazon, forests are being cleared to make way for agriculture, roads, and other development. This clearing activity has led to an increase in the number of fires in the area, some of which are set intentionally to clear more land.
Other natural causes for the fires are running rampant such as droughts, extremely hot weather and lightning strikes. Droughts have been exacerbated by climate change, making the existing forests more vulnerable to burning. During this current dry season, much of the forest is tinder dry and any spark can quickly start a large fire. Lightning is also responsible for countless fires that have taken hold in the Amazon.
Unfortunately, the combination of these factors has caused the Amazon to become a tinderbox, leading to the current series of extensive and intense fires.
These fires will have serious consequences for the world. A large amount of carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. Further, the loss of trees in the Amazon means that communities, plants and animals in the region may be permanently damaged.
Fortunately, the world is responding. International organizations are pressuring Brazil to take stronger short and long-term measures to protect the Amazon, including creating a system of environmental law enforcement and indigenous land demarcation.
You can help by supporting organizations that are working to protect the Amazon, such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Visit the WWF website to learn more about what they're doing to protect and restore the Amazon from these fires: https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/amazon-fires.