Last update: September 17th, 2019 at 8:00 am
East of where Lake Malawi fills one of the many cracks in the earth that mark Africa’s Great Rift Valley, scores of fires were burning on October 1, 2006. The winds at the time of this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite were pushing smoke southwest, creating a grayish haze over the western part of the image. The fires are scattered across southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique, places where the peak seasonal burning typically occurs in September or October. African savanna fires are mostly caused by humans for agricultural activities such as clearing pasture or cropland or driving game. Although the fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, the frequency and wide extent of the burning can have strong influence on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.
Credit: NASA imagery created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.