Fires in Madagaskar

 Fires inMadagascar

8 August 2005

Latest satellite scenes from fires burning in Madagascar:

Scattered fires (red dots) were burning across western Madagascar on 7 August2005, detected by the ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite. Alongthe coast, the island’s characteristic reddish soils run off into the oceanand disperse in a greenish cloud

click on scene for a 1km resolution

7 August 2005
7:00 hrs UTC
(Image courtesy MODIS)

Fires, both natural and human-caused, have burned seasonally dry parts of theisland with clockwork regularity for millennia, usually the result of firesintentionally lighted to encourage new grass growth. The fires are generallylighted on old pasturelands on the lower slopes and farther out on the rollinggrasslands of the high plateau.

An estimated 80 percent of the Madagascan flora is endemic.

Most of Madagascar’s fires are started by cowherds, cattle rustlers, hunters,farmers – or even by sparring political groups to demonstrate that their rivalsdo not have control of an area.

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