Last update: November 14th, 2019 at 5:00 am
From eastern India to Vietnam, scores of fires were burning across the landscape on March 13, 2007, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead and captured this photo-like image. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are marked in red. Gray smoke pools into low-lying parts of the terrain and spreads in a dingy haze across clouds along the eastern edge of the scene.
Agricultural and accidental fires are common across Southeast Asia in the dry season, which roughly spans the Northern Hemisphere fall and winter months. People burn crop and pasture land to prepare for the upcoming planting and growing seasons, and fires also escape control and spread into nearby forests. The fires pictured in this part of Southeast Asia lagged the widespread occurrence of burning in Cambodia and southern Thailand that MODIS observed as early as January 2007. Although it is not necessarily immediately hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.
Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.