PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Concern is growing around the world as Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest experiences a record-breaking year for wildfires.
According to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), there have been more than 74,000 fires so far this year, which is an 84% increase compared to the same time period last year.
The Amazon is often referred to as the world’s lungs since it is a major absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The fires are burning at the highest rate since INPE began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday.
The rainforest — which, at roughly half the size of the United States, is the largest rainforest on the planet — is considered vital in slowing global warming and it is home to uncountable species of fauna and flora.
The Roger Williams Park Zoo recently just opened its new rainforest exhibit modeled after the Amazon Rainforest.
When it was developed, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he hoped the new exhibit would leave visitors inspired to take part in a more sustainable lifestyle to preserve rainforests across the globe.
Eyewitness News caught up with an official from Roger Williams Park Zoo who spoke about how the wildfires in Brazil can affect Rhode Island: