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How Will the Amazon Wildfire Affect Amazon River Cruises 2019

  |   Brazil

Lately, some of our clients have asked us whether the Amazon wildfires will affect their Amazon River Cruise plans. Naturally, any time a nation suffers from a huge natural disaster, the world stops. It stops to react. Earlier this month we were exposed to news reports regarding South America's most recent and heart-breaking loss…


What Is Happening In the Brazilian Amazon?

Rainforest fires of gigantic proportions have been scorching across the worlds largest and most dense area of the Amazon - Brazil. Little to no reporting of any kind was acknowledged in global news for what the public deemed as far, far too long. The world was horrified upon notification that the forest fires had in fact been destroying land in the Amazon for over three whole weeks! Throughout history there have been many unpublished fires burning in the Amazon. They happen way more than we know. However, typically fires rage from natural causes and are generally extinguished naturally by the conflicting rainfall and humidity levels in the rainforest. 

The number of fires in the Amazon tend to rise slowly each year, however this year there have been close to 77,000 wildfires in Brazil alone, with over half of those taking place in the Amazon region. Shockingly, 344,500 hectares of land have been demolished illegally since January - that is an average of over 43,000 hectares a month! Now, just to give you a little scope, that is roughly the size of 4,300 soccer pitches, or the size of Venice, burning down every month.

The planet's lungs are being tarnished by fumes from these tremendous infernos, causing a knock on effect in cities up to 6000 miles away. Areas of Sao Paulo were completely cut off from daylight as the smoke travelled over Brazil's largest city. With attention growing, space research satellites began capturing images to track the ongoing devastation. People took to Twitter and other social media platforms using hashtags such as 'fight the fires' to rapidly raise awareness. The consequences of these actions brought necessary attentiveness and aid to rainforest before it reached tipping point.


How Are The Fires In Brazil Being Addressed?

As of August 24 2019, more than 44,000 Brazil based troops were deployed 'unprecedentedly' in hopes to extinguish the almighty fires. Whilst six states requested federal help, (Roraima, Rondonia, Tocantins, Para, Acre and Mato Grosso), the first section of 700 military members were sent out to Porto Velho, the capital of Rondonia to dump 12,000 liters of water out onto the affected areas. Brazil's national institute has been scalded for responding with a lack of urgency on the matter at hand. The Brazilian government were threatened by other countries if they continued to silently withhold their assistance to the Amazon rainforest. The international outcry was outstanding - it seemed as though everyones' goal was to preserve the Amazon. U.S. based aircrafts have also been responding by flying SuperTankers over other devastated areas in Bolivia to help put out some of their forest fires. 

cattle farming Brazil

How Did The Amazon Rainforest Fires Start?

There is a fair quantity of speculation around what exactly the catalyst was for this terrible, fiery outbreak. Cattle farmers have been known to purposely induce forest fires in order to create new areas of land for beef production. Ranching is the leading source of deforestation in the rainforest. Since inauguration, President Jair Bolsonaro has promised to allow access to the Amazon for industry purposes, and recently diminished funding to environmental and scientific research groups. Rumors sparked that he is the main man behind the Amazon's current destruction. His pro-development policies and severe delay in issuing the Amazon's rescue mission seem to support the alleged accusations. These realizations have initiated anti-government protests across South America and the world. As quoted by Reuters, the President proclaims, “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame,”. Statements as such are causing universal concern, drawing a great deal of attention to the country of Brazil and the Amazon region. We hold hope that this significant topic will be continually shared across headlines for the right reasons, in the following weeks to come. 

Is It Still Safe To Travel To Brazil And The Amazon?

The Amazon region is undoubtedly one of the most precious and contributive areas on the planet. Providing 20% of the whole worlds' oxygen, this beautiful canopy of nature is one of the top areas we must protect to sustain life on this planet. Not only benefitting the rest of the world, the Amazon basin is home to almost 500 indigenous tribes, 40,000 plant species, 430 mammals, 1,300 bird species and 3,000 types of fish. The amazon rainforest is a mature ecosystem that we as humans and creatures alike, rely on for sustenance, medicine and more. To capture the full beauty of the Amazon is to see something truly phenomenal and extraordinarily unique. 

Sourced from

Sourced from

Here at Rainforest Cruises, we suffer a great heartache addressing the Brazil Amazon fires. We respect the mission to support the Amazon rainforest, by means of action. The most important factor at the moment is to generate the necessary measures that will not only put an end to the current crisis, but optimistically prevent such catastrophes from happening in the future. The Amazon rainforest deserves to be saved for our generation, and all generations to come. Through the correct means of education, we can enlighten others to support the conservation efforts to care for the heart and soul of this wondrous place. We are, and have always been, dedicated and committed to respecting the Amazon rainforest. The magic and grandeur of the environment is what makes it such a sought-after, dream destination for people of all ages. We believe that everyone deserves the chance to experience all of the natural beauty within in it.   

Photo: NASA Earth Observatory Handout/EPA-EFE/Shuttershock/Travel-and-Leisure

Photo: NASA Earth Observatory Handout/EPA-EFE/Shuttershock/Travel-and-Leisure

We would like to kindly inform our Rainforest Cruises passengers, that despite the alarming news and speculative dangers, there is no current risk when traveling to the Amazon region where the ships we offer operate. Concern is understandable given the magnitude of the issues at hand, however non of our travelers have been directly effected by the recent events. There is no smoke around any of the particular areas cruises operate in Manaus, Brazil or Iquitos, Peru. Tourists are safe to travel across all of our South American destinations we normally offer including Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. All local airlines are performing as normal, as well as general administration and services. 

The safety of our passengers is of upmost importance to us. Please enquire with us or call us at 1-888-215-3555 if you have any more questions regarding your travel programs. We will keep you up to date with all information regarding this subject, in respect to any future alterations or actions that may be needed. We hope you enjoy your opportunity to see the mighty Amazon rainforest, and that you love it just as much as we do.

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises, Galapagos Islands tours, and Southeast Asia cruises. We provide you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama and Southeast Asia. As travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure.