Fires in Central South America •

Last update: June 20th, 2019 at 5:00 pm

On March 24, 2004, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this image of central South America, showing fires burning in Argentina (left), Paraguay (top center), and Brazil (right). Fires have been marked with red dots. The dark green peninsular arm of Argentina is the Misiones province, which contains a mostly intact remnant of the extremely endangered Atlantic Rainforest ecosystem.

The widespread nature of the fires and their location (generally located in areas of low vegetation (tan and light green) suggests that these fires are being set intentionally for agricultural purposes. Though not necessarily immediately hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.

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 Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC

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