FALSE: None of these photos shows destruction from the 2019 Amazon fires

The photos, which have been shared in a tweet, are from previous fire incidents, some of which date back to 2012

A fire burns a tract of Amazon jungle as it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Porto Velho, Brazil August 31, 2019.
A fire burns a tract of Amazon jungle as it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Porto Velho, Brazil August 31, 2019.
Image: REUTERS

A Twitter post shared with images purported to be of the 2019 forest fires in the Southern Amazon contains photos lifted from previous fires.

While there has been widespread destruction from the ongoing fires in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Bolivia, the photos used do not show the current situation, but have been lifted from previous reports of fires in the Amazon.

reverse image search reveals that the photo was used in an article by the King’s College in the UK in 2012. The photo that is credited to Alamy photographer Loren McIntyre is not of the 2019 Amazon fire but of a past Amazon fire.

reverse image search shows that this image, though not credited, was used in a 2016 article by the US Daily Review thus making it a past photo not from the 2019 fire. The photo has also been shared separately in this 2017 post.

reverse image search of the third image showing a burnt iguana shows that the photo has been used in the past in a February 2019 article in India. This shows that it is an old photo not from August 2019 fire as the tweet purports.

A reverse image search of the final image in the post shows that it has been used before in a Spanish publication Via Mendoza on January 10, 2018.

PesaCheck has looked into the authenticity of images shared in a tweet claiming to show the effects of the 2019 Amazon fire and finds the tweet to be FALSE.


This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake news or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information onPesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck Researcher James Okong’o, was edited by PesaCheck Deputy Editor Ann Ngengere and was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.