Hundreds of fires were burning in Angola (left) and Democratic Republic of Congo (upper right) on30 May 2006, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite captured this image. MODIS also detected fires (locations marked in red) in Zambia (bottom right).
Widespread agricultural burning (clearing old vegetation or brush from pasture andcroplands) occurs in the dry season in this part of Africa. The start and stop date of the dry and rainy seasonsvaries; in northern Angola, for example, the dry season usually begins in May and lasts until September orOctober.
Fires are a well-established, and in many cases natural, part of the savanna landscapes of Africa south of the Sahara. Although it is not necessarily immediatelyhazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, humanhealth, and natural resources.