'Chaos, chaos, chaos': a journey through Bolsonaro's Amazon inferno

The Guardian

Tom Phillips

Photo by Avener Prado

"A 2,000km road and river odyssey in Brazil reveals consensus from all sides: Bolsonaro has ushered in a new age of wrecking.

From afar, it resembles a tornado: an immense grey column shooting thousands of feet upwards from the forest canopy into the Amazonian skies.

Up close it is an inferno: a raging conflagration obliterating yet another stretch of the world’s greatest rainforest as a herd of Nelore cattle looks on in bewilderment.

“It started this morning,” said Valdir Urumon, the chief of an indigenous village in this isolated corner of Rondônia state, as the vast pillar of smoke loomed over his settlement’s palm-thatched homes.

By late afternoon, when the Guardian arrived on the scene, the fire had intensified into a catastrophic blaze, streaking north through a strip of jungle perhaps two miles long."

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