At the base of the Himalaya Mountains in northwestern India, the annual agricultural fire season was underway in the states of Punjab (closest to Pakistan) and Haryana (to the southeast) in mid-October 2005. Punjab occupies less than 2 percent of the area of the country, and yet it produces about two-thirds of the food grains in India. Wheat and rice are the two most commonly grown food crops. Farmers use fire to clear fields and get them ready for new plantings.
AQUA 12 October 2005 15:25 hrs UTC (Image courtesy MODIS)
In this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite on 12 October 2005, actively burning fires are marked with red dots. Although the fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, such widespread burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.