Fires on Sumatra •

Last update: November 14th, 2019 at 6:00 am

Fires continued to burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra on October 4, 2006. The fires have been burning for weeks, filling the skies with thick smoke that has interrupted air and road travel in the region. Fires are common across the region in the dry season (August-October), despite a legal ban on open burning. Agricultural fires often spread into adjacent, peat-rich forests. Peat fires are difficult to extinguish, and they produce a lot of smoke. This image of southern Sumatra was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are marked in red. Fires were also burning nearby on the island of Borneo.

Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.

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