Dozens of fires were burning in eastern China near the mouth of the Yangtze River (top of the image) on May 6, 2004. The fires were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite during its morning overpass of the region, and have been marked in this image with red dots. The large lake in the left half of the scene is Tai Lake, and to its east, right on the coast, is a gray patch that is the city of Shanghai.
The widespread nature of the fires, their location (generally located away from remaining natural vegetation, which appears deeper green), and the time of year suggests that these fires are being set intentionally for agricultural purposes. Though not necessarily hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.The high-resolution image provided above is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.