Over 70,000 fires have taken place in just Brazil this year, the consequences of which will affect humanity for generations.
Large areas of forest in the Amazon Basin in Brazil and south of it are currently on fire.
Plumes of smoke could be seen over other countries. The forest is on fire not only in the Amazon region, but also in southern Brazilian provinces, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. Smoke blew as far as Sao Paulo and darkened the sky above the skyscrapers there on 19 August.
For days, frightening pictures and videos have been circulating on the Internet showing how the flames are eating their way through the 'earth's lungs'.
The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) announced that it had recorded a total of 74,155 forest fires between the beginning of the year and 21 August. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of 84 percent. This is the highest since record-keeping began in 2013. The institute relies on satellite imagery.
To illustrate the extent of the problem, the Inpe also announced that 9,507 forest fires had broken out in the few days between Thursday 15 and Tuesday 20 August.