Fires in the Southeastern United States •

Last update: December 7th, 2019 at 8:00 am

When it comes to fires in the United States, big western forest fires draw the most attention. But more than half of the fires in the U.S. in any given year happen in the Southeast, and many of them are land management fires. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite detected dozens of fires burning throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi on January 29, 2011. The fires are marked in red in this photo-like image.

Many of the fires in Florida may be connected to the sugar cane harvest, as farmers burn the plants to remove leaves from the cane. Throughout the Southeast, farmers also start winter fires to remove stubble from their fields in preparation for spring planting. Some fires may be burning in private forests, where prescribed burns thin trees and clear undergrowth.

Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

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