Southern Central United States • Earth.com

Last update: June 18th, 2019 at 9:00 am

Agricultural burning in preparation for the growing season was underway in the central United States at the time of this image, captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on March 31, 2004. Spring green is beginning to overtake the dun-colored winter landscape in the south-central parts of the country, including (top, left to right) Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee, and (bottom right to left) Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Fires have been marked with red dots in the image. The smokier fires in Arkansas may be prescribed burns on state or federal lands that are set in the spring to decrease built-up underbrush and other vegetation that could contribute to more severe wildfires later in the season. Though not necessarily hazardous, large-scale burning can have an impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.

Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

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