CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One UVA environmental science professor wants to set the record straight about the recent forest fires in affecting Brazil and the Amazon rainforest. Professor Deborah Lawrence said deforestation fires happen every year because they are a cheaper way to clear land to grow products like soy.

Lawrence wants people here to know that what is happening in South America is impacting the United States and there are ways we can help.

"We ask those people who buying those commodities to buy responsibly. So as consumers we can say 'I don't want to be a part of that supply chain and that production line' - 'I don't want to have those products',” said Lawrence.

Lawrence said the smoke from the fires can change rainfall patterns and cloud formation.