Oil fires in Iraq continued to pour chocolate-colored smoke on August 19, 2016, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-color image of the region.
At least three red hotspots sit west of the Tigris River, each spot indicating an area where the thermal sensors on the MODIS instrument detected high temperatures. Thick smoke hangs close to the hotspots, then blows to the southwest before arch west, then northwest over the light tan of the desert.
Little information specific to the fires in this image are available. However, an earlier image of this event was captured on August 17 and published as the MODIS Image of the Day on August 20.
The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century. It was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, and Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. Therefore Oil fires in Iraq caused a lot of damage to the terrain and areas. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq. The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party from 1968 until 2003.
To view the previous image, go to http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/individual.php?db_date=2016-08-20.