Dust and Fires Across West Africa • Earth.com

Last update: June 24th, 2019 at 7:11 pm

The West African coastline was partially hidden beneath a thick veil of Saharan dust and perhaps smoke on February 7, 2004, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured this image. Numerous fires were detected by the sensor and are marked with red dots. Though many of the fires are likely agriculture fires, intentionally set for land clearing and pasture management, they are not without hazards. They can escape control and cause unintended damage, and they create air pollution.

Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

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