Dozens of fires were burning in Guinea, West Africa on 04 May 2004. The following image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. 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.
(Image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Project at NASA/GSFC)
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 countrys 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 additional information on fires in Guinea, see:
Kane, Racine. 1997. Satellite Monitoring of Fires in Guinea and of the Impact of Awareness Rasing Campaigns on Rural Radio.
For background information on theFire Situation in Africa see: