According to an article at CNN, “Some of the most-shared images of the Amazon rainforest fires are old or are not of the Amazon”. Their article includes many examples of incorrectly attributed photos.
One of the most glaring examples is very familiar to many wildland firefighters and is often called the “Elk Bath” photo (below). It was taken August 6, 2000 by John McColgan, a Forest Service employee who was assigned as a Fire Behavior Analyst on a fire in the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana. It was taken as part of his official duties and is in the public domain.
Below is where the Elk Bath photo was posted on Twitter. It is at the bottom-right. The top-right photo, according to CNN is from a 2018 wildfire in Sweden.
Only found out on twitter that Amazon rainforest, ‘the earth’s lungs’ has been burning for 3 weeks?! Why is there no media coverage about it? HEARTBREAKING. #PrayforAmazonia 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/JYwWnAPmom
— David Licauco (@davidlicauco) August 21, 2019
The photo at the top of this article is a legitimate photo of some of the fires in Bolivia, as seen from the 747 Supertanker. It was posted by Global Supertanker August 24, 2019. The air tanker arrived in Bolivia at 1:37 a.m. local time Friday August 23 at Viru Viru International Airport outside the capital city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and began sorties on fires later in the day.
The two photos below do not show fires, but they were also taken from the 747 Supertanker showing scenes in Bolivia. They might give us a glimpse of some of the fuels and terrain involved.