Amazon Rainforest Ravaged by Deforestation Fires in Brazil. Massive forest fires have been burning in the Amazon region of Brazil for over three weeks now, with little sign of slowing down. . According to NASA researcher Santiago Gassó, the fires have created a layer of smoke covering an area of about 1.2 million square miles. They are reportedly being intentionally set by farmers, as fire is a common method of illegal deforestation. . Many people are blaming Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, for encouraging the destruction of the Amazon. . Bolsonaro has worked to weaken government agencies responsible for the forest's protection since he came to power seven months ago. . The explosion of deforestation can be attributed both to changes in government actions...and from the rhetoric from President Bolsonaro…This has created a climate of impunity under the assumption that there will be no consequences for ignoring environmental regulations. , Philip Fearnside, Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research, to 'Newsweek'. The number of fire outbreaks in the country has grown by 70 percent since 2018, with nearly 52 percent occurring in the Amazon biome.