Wildfires continue to rage in Brazil's Amazon rainforest.
Our live coverage has ended. Here's what you need to know about the fires in Brazil:
- The Amazon is currently facing record-breaking wildfires: Brazil's space research center (INPE) said this week that the number of fires in Brazil are 80% higher than last year. More than half are in the Amazon region, spelling disaster for the local environment and ecology. Two states in the Amazon have already declared state of emergency: Acre and Amazonas. Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA is hiring hundreds of temporary firefighters to help fight fires, the agency announced on Friday.
- What Brazil's president is saying: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has suggested ranchers clearing land and NGOs hostile to his presidency may be the cause of these fires. However, environmental organizations have previously said the wildfires began with increased land-clearing and logging that was encouraged by the country’s pro-business president. Bolsonaro said he is considering sending army troops to help combat the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest, he told reporters this morning.
- Trade deal in jeopardy: French President Emmanuel Macron said he opposes a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur — the South American trade block — after accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of "lying" to him on his climate commitments, the Elysée Palace confirmed to CNN. Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is ready to block a trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur unless Brazil takes action on the Amazon forest.
- G7 discussion: Multiple world leaders, including Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said Friday the wildfires should be discussed at the upcoming G7 summit. Bolsonaro tweeted Thursday that Macron is attempting to raise the issue of the wildfires in Brazil at the G7 "for personal political gains."
- More on the Amazon: The Amazon rainforest is about two-thirds the size of continental Europe. The Amazon covers 6.7 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles), according to the World Wildlife Fund, while continental Europe covers 9.9 million square kilometers (3.8 million square miles), according to the Central Intelligence Agency.