Fire is sucking the life out of parts of the Amazon rainforest. In Roraima State, in northern Brazil, the number of fires in February were more than five times the average, according to data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, and blazes continued to burn through March.

We are losing the Amazon rainforest. These changes in the climate right now provoked by El Niño makes this forest fire season even worse than we are used to seeing in the forest,” said Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of Brazil’s Climate Observatory.

Wildfires in the normally humid, tropical rainforest have been supercharged by a disastrous combination of elevated temperatures, historic drought and deforestation.

Even as the year-old government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has brought down the rate of deforestation in Brazil by more than 20 per cent, a hot dry 2023 stressed the trees within the Amazon, which stretches into eight countries.