Amazonian Forest Fires: Causes, Impacts and Solutions

During the spring and summer of 2020, I worked with Erika Berenguer, a senior researcher and ecologist at Oxford University, and other researchers on these animations to dispel myths about the Amazon fires. Deborah Frances-White of the Guilty Feminist Podcast kindly narrated the English versions of these videos.


Not all fires are the same, not even those in the Amazon. For each fire type there is a different cause, creating different environmental and social impacts, thus requiring different solutions. In this trilogy we present the causes, the impacts and the solutions for fires in the Amazon. 


All the videos were produced by scientists, bringing the latest scientific evidence about Amazonian fires. I worked closely with them throughout the creative process to include their scientific expertise in the design and animation. 


The videos are also available to watch in Portuguese and French on the RAS Network YouTube channel. 


  • The first video explains the different types fire in the Amazon.
  • The second is about the impacts of the fires.
  • The third video proposes solutions to prevent fires and save the Amazon. 

Take action for the Amazon

By punishing environmental crimes, discouraging agricultural malpractice, promoting financial incentives for conservation, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally, the Amazon and other forests need not burn down.

One simple thing we can all do starting today to help save the rainforest is to boycott companies and products linked to Amazonian deforestation.

This article also has a lot of information: “The Ultimate Guide to Help Prevent Deforestation”.

Image stills from the animations

Production Process

Storyboard sketches based on script provided by researchers.

Amazon fire animation storyboard sketches

Style design created by combining Adobe Illustrator vector artwork with textures in Adobe After Effects.

Style frame

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Part of an animation I’m creating with environmental researchers that aims to dispel myths about fires in the Amazon rainforest. One of the main myths is that Amazon fires are natural but fires are not a natural part of the rainforest ecosystem. These fires are caused by people and by market demands for products linked to industrial animal exploitation. Climate crisis global heating is also contributing to increases in forest fires world wide. (I’m animating this in After Effects on a Wacom Cintiq pen display. ) #animation #storyboards #animator #rainforest #explaineranimation #scicomms #forestfires #savetherainforest #amazonfires #environmentalscience #climatechange #climate #vegan #aftereffects #motiongraphics #illustration #eco #savetheamazon

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What the client said

We produced 3 short videos about fires in the Amazon with Mair and we couldn't be happier with the results. The process was also extremely positive: Mair is attentive, super responsive, and really cares about the work. I hope to work with her again soon as this was such a great experience. Highly recommended!

Erika Berenguer, Senior Researcher & Ecologist, University of Oxford