GFMC: Brazil

Firesin Brazil 

08 December 2004

Latest Satellite Scenes from MODIS: Fires in Para, Brazil

In the state of Pará, Brazil, at the confluence of the Tapajós River (bottom center) and Amazon River (running west to east through image center), areas of the Amazon rainforest that are being cleared for logging, ranching, and farming spread outwards to the north and south of the riverbanks. These deforested areas appear lighter green than the surrounding undisturbed forests, and are easily recognizable in satellite imagery because of the way the deforestation often spreads in a herringbone pattern. Once extremely rare in the rainforest even during dry seasons, fire is now a common occurrence in the Amazon as people use it as a land management tool. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite from November 18, 2004, shows locations where MODIS detected active fires marked in red.

Although land management fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, it is not uncommon for them to escape control and become more dangerous. The burning can also have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.

NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center


See the following media articles: 


Maps with a summary of the occurence of vegetation fires in Brazil and in most of South America are prepared and released by CPTEC/INPE in the Internet soon after the overpasses of the NOAA-series meteorological satellites, whose AVHRR images are used in the detection. Source:

Each red dot in the map shows a pixel with temperatures of some hundred degrees C, normally associated only to active fires. The table on the right side of the map shows the total number of fire pixels dectected by state and by country, with the percentage corresponding to the cloud cover in each region, where the detection of fires was precluded.
Geographical coordinateos of all vegetation fires detected in the AVHRR/NOAA images are available at CPTEC/INPE, and are distributed in near-real-time to registered users. Furhter information can be obtained with, or in the phone number ++55(12)560-9261.


For more information, also in portugese, see the webpage:


Additionally PROARCO (Programa de Prevenção e Controle de Queimadas e Incêndios Florestais na Amazônia Legal) is providing a daily update at: See the Boletim Diário de Monitoramento de Focos de Calor – Amazônia Legal, 03 August 2004.


For more details see daily fire situation updates of Brazil and neighbouring countries:

More information on “Queimadas“


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