Fires in Bolivia

 Fires inBolivia

25 July 2005

Latest satellite scenes from fires burning in Bolivia:

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), aboard NASA’s Terra satellite, shows a large number of fires (red dots)burning across theBolivian lowlands around the rivers Madre de Dios and Beni andacross the Llanos de Marmoré, along the border to Brazil.

Such large-scale burning in the Amazon Rainforest is not a natural occurrence,and the tropical lowland forest is not well adapted to fire. As people useslash-and-burn deforestation to create new farmland, the impacts are felt farbeyond the location of the fire. The smoke inhibits cloud formation and rainfallor causes the rain  to come down in heavier outbursts. Fires also escapecontrol and invade managed timber plantations, undisturbed forest, and permanentagriculture.

25 July 2005
15:00 hrs UTC

(Image courtesy MODIS)

True colour: Bands 1-4-3

False colour: Bands 7-2-1

As can be seen in the high resolution of both images, land cover change from dense rainforest toroads and agricultural land is often achieved through fire. People also use fireto maintain agricultural and pasture land. The solid green expanse of the Amazon Rainforest is increasingly broken byroads and tracts of farmland.

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