GFMC: Africa

Fires in Guinea
28 April 2004

Dozens of  fires were burning in the western Africa country of Guinea(center) on April 27, 2004. This image of the fires was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aquasatellite.  Red dots show the location of active fires detected by MODIS. Guinea is approaching the end of its dry season(December-May), when dry, dusty winds blow across the country from the Sahara Desert out toward the Atlantic. These winds are known as harmattanwinds, and they can fan the flames of brush and agricultural fires, creating naturalhazards.

MODIS Aqua, 27 April 2004, 1420, true color

Though some fires are burning in the coastal regions, most are concentrated in the Fouta Djallon Highlands in the central part of the country, the country’s agricultural heart.

The widespread nature of the fires and the time of year suggests these fires are being set intentionally for agricultural purposes like pasture and farmland clearing. Though not necessarily immediately hazardous, such burning can have a strong impact on climate, weather, human health, and natural resources.

For background information on theFire Situation in Africa see:
RegionalWildland Fire Networks (AfriFireNet) and 
IFFN Country Reports
on various african countries.

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