Fires burning in Argentina: 5 August 1999

Fires Burning in Argentina

5 August 1999

Several active fire signals in Argentina are recorded by OSEI with the NOAA-14 POES AVHRR LAC Sensor on 4 August 1999.

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Fig.1. and 2. The left image shows heat signatures and smoke plumes from many areas of fire burning in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. The most active area of fire is in central Argentina. The right image displays a closer look at central Argentina where numerous areas of fire are burning.
(Source: NOAA )

The fire signatures diplayed by today’s OSEI images represent land-use fires and wildfires in the Chaco region of Northern Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Almost one third of Argentina is included in the Chaco region of South America. Climate features shift from humid in the East to arid toward the West, with rainfall mainly during the summer months. Winter is dry and cold, with frosts sometimes reaching -15° C. The vegetation of the Chaco region is a mixture of savannas, thorn shrublands and hardwood forests alternating in belts and patches. Evidence suggests that fire has been a natural component of the Chaco ecosystem for thousands of years. Indians used fire for warfare and hunting; in fact, “Chaco” means “a site for hunting” in the Quichua language. Fire swept across the savannas and shrublands and on some occasions hit the hardwood forest that burned with high intensity. Tolerance of species to fire is mixed. The fire cycle is estimated to be around 3-5 years in savannas.

For additional detailed information on forest fires in Argentina refer to the IFFN Country Notes.

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