Smoke from Amazon rainforest fires can be seen from space

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Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest are burning at a record rate, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). 

The agency said Tuesday that its satellite data showed an 84% increase in the number of fires compared to the same period last year, according to the BBC

INPE said it has detected 72,843 fires so far this year, Reuters reported. 

The smoke and fires also appeared in satellite images released by NASA. 

In contrast, the U.S. space agency said that total fire activity in the Amazon basin was “slightly below average” compared to the last 15 years. NASA noted that certain areas, including Brazil’s Amazonas state, have seen increased activity. 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro suggested Wednesday that non-governmental organizations could be to blame for the unusually high number of wildfires in the Amazon.

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