Last update: November 19th, 2019 at 11:00 am
January and February are generally the peak of the dry season in Cambodia. At this time of year, agricultural and other intentional fires are common. This image of the heart of the country was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on February 17, 2010. Places where MODIS detected active fires are outlined in red.
The lowland areas around the Tônlé Sab and its wetlands are predominantly rice-growing areas. Beyond the croplands, much of the area shown in the image was once forested, but today, forest remnants (deep green patches scattered across the center of the image) are surrounded by scrubland, where most of the timber has been harvested either by rural residents for firewood or by loggers. Most of the fires are located in this scrubland region, and many are right on the edges of the remaining forest.
Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.