Agriculture drives recent rise in tropical forest fires

Fires are not normal in rainforest ecosystems.

Humid, closed-canopy forests contain little flammable material, and rainfall extinguishes any fires that may occur. However, tropical forest fires are on the rise.

Natural causes, like lightning, are behind just four per cent of all wildfires globally. Instead, rampant deforestation is the leading cause of tropical forest fires. People use fire to both clear and maintain land to produce products like beef and soy in the Amazon, palm oil in Indonesia, and other products like paper and pulp.

Additional information on tropical forest fires can be found on this website.