Fires in Central and Southern Africa

Fires in Central and Southern Africa

2August 2006

South of the Sahara Desert, agricultural burning dominates the savanna landscape in Africa in the dry season. Vast areas of the continent burn every year as people set fire to range and crop lands to clear or renew them for the next growing season. A clear day over central Africa on30 July 2006, revealed the widespread areas burned by agricultural fires so far thisseason. 

30 July 2006

The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, and it uses MODIS’ observations of shortwave and near-infrared light along with visible light to make the burned areas stand out from unburnedvegetation. Across Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia, deep red burn scars mingle with the unburned bright greenvegetation. Water is dark blue, and naturally bare or sparsely vegetated ground appears light(sometimes pinkish) tan. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are marked in red.

The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 250 meters perpixel. 

(source: EarthObservatory)

For background information on the Fire Situation in Africa see:




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