Last update: June 26th, 2019 at 2:00 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. The high-resolution image provided above is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.
Credit: Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC