In Southeast Asia, fires are common and widespread throughoutthe dry season, which roughly spans the northern hemisphere winter months.People set fires to clear crop stubble and brush and to prepare grazing land fora new flush of growth when the rainy season arrives. These intentional fires aretoo frequently accompanied by accidental fires that invade nearby forests andwoodlands. The combination of fires produces a thick haze that alternatelylingers and disperses, depending on the weather.
Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are markedin red on the image. The darker green areas are generally more wooded areas orforests, while the paler green and tan areas are agricultural land. Smoke poolsover low-lying areas of the hilly terrain in gray pockets. The green tops ofrolling hills in Thailand emerge from a cloud oflow-lying smoke.
According to news reports from Thailand, thesmoke blanket created air quality conditions that were considered unhealthy forall groups, and it prompted the Thai Air Force to undertake cloud-seedingattempts in an effort to cleanse the skies with rain. Commercial air traffic washalted due to poor visibility