Fires in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. In late August 2008, Mozambique’s dry season was nearing its peak. The rainy season typically starts around October. During the dry season each year, agriculture-related fires are widespread. This image of the country shows the number of active fires (locations marked in red) detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on August 26. Skies were hazy with smoke. Although such fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, they can have a significant impact on climate, human health, and natural resources.
Mozambique (/ˌmoʊzæmˈbiːk/), officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique, Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁɛˈpuβlikɐ ðɨ musɐ̃ˈbikɨ]; Chichewa: Mozambiki; Swahili: Msumbiji; Tsonga: Muzambhiki), is a country located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa to the southwest. The sovereign state is separated from the Comoros, Mayotte and Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. The capital and largest city of Mozambique is Maputo (formerly known as “Lourenço Marques” from 1876 to 1976).
Between the first and fifth centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated to present-day Mozambique from farther north and west. Northern Mozambique lies within the monsoon trade winds of the Indian Ocean. Between the 7th and 11th centuries, a series of Swahili port towns developed here, which contributed to the development of a distinct Swahili culture and language. In the late medieval period, these towns were frequented by traders from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and India.
Credit: NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.