Hundreds of fires in Myanmar and India in this image acquired on February 27, 2006.
The grayish plumes of smoke blowing from left to right, with the prevailing winds, are readily distinguished from the brighter. Also white colored and clumped masses of clouds. It is highly likely that these fires have been set intentionally for agricultural purposes. Therefore fire is used to clear fields of ground cover and residual crops.
Satellite images such as this one have been used to quantify the amount of forest cover lost in Myanmar in recent decades. Also researchers have estimated the loss to be about 13% from 1990-2000. Conservation International lists this region as a hotspot of biological diversity, providing habitat to nearly 7,000 endemic species of plants. There is 18 threatened species of birds, 25 mammals, and 35 threatened amphibian species. The conversion of forested land for agriculture, as well as logging, mining, and draining of wetlands, have been identified as threats to biodiversity in this region.