Tell us how you have been affected by the Amazon fires

By Guardian readers

Smoke from wildfires burning in the Amazon shrouded São Paulo in darkness earlier this month. The clouds covering the megacity, almost 2,000 miles from the fires, made it impossible for residents and the rest of the world to ignore the destruction taking place.

As international leaders, environmental groups and activists condemn Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro for weakening rainforest protections, we want to hear from those who have witnessed and been directly affected by these fires – in the Amazon and across the region.

Fires occur every year in the region. They’re mostly man-made and deliberate – farmers or ranchers clearing existing farmland, or illegal land-grabbers destroying trees. Official figures recorded 73,000 forest fires in Brazil, mostly in the Amazon, in the first eight months of 2019, the highest number since 2013. Last year there were almost 40,000 fires in the same period, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.

Tell us if you live or work in these areas across South America that have been impacted by forest fires. How have the fires affected communities and livelihoods? What is at stake for your local environment? How has Bolsonaro’s presidency changed the situation? What have you been doing to raise awareness of the issue? Tell us how you think the international community should respond.

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