Last update: September 15th, 2019 at 2:00 pm
As the southern end of Russia’s West Siberian Plain begins its spring thaw, farmers begin setting fires to clear agricultural lands. South of the Irtysh River, numerous fires were burning when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this photo-like image on April 26, 2010. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fire are outlined in red. The burned ground appears deep brown, and grayish smoke plumes rise from many of the fires.
Widespread agricultural burning is common here at this time of year, and it is not necessarily immediately hazardous. Intentional fires do sometimes get out of control, however, posing a threat to natural resources and private property. In addition, smoke can contribute to poor air quality.
Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.