Fires in Bolivia

Fires in Central South America

26 September 2005

Comments of the GFMC on the situation in Bolivia:

According to a news report the huge wildfires that raged throughout the Bolivian Amazon for two weeks are under control for about 90% since Friday evening (23 September 2005). The blazes destroyed about 150 000 ha and caused the death of 4 children because of the thick smoke that covered more than 600 000 km² in the northern provinces of Beni and Pando.
As can be seen on the latest MODIS scene below most fires could be stopped by the moment, but officials are prepared for the fires to start again any minute as conditions may change quickly. Only sufficient precipitation can help to lower the risk of further fires in the area.

(source: Un gigantesque incendie en Amazonie bolivienne sous contrôle, published by, 24 September 2005)

Latest MODIS Scene:

Thick smoke columns from hundreds, possibly thousands of fires burning in the heart of the continent on 25 September 2005 still hang over the Bolivian Amazon. The southern part of Bolivia is covered with clouds by now. Whether this means relief for the situation by beginning rainfall we do not know.

25 September 2005
17:35 hrs UTC
(Image courtesy MODIS)

True colour: Bands 1-4-3

False Colour: Bands 7-2-1

The fires, most of which are likely intentional fires set by people to clear rainforest or maintain agricultural land, have been detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite and have been marked with red dots in the image.

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