Fires and Thick Smoke over South America

Fires and Thick Smoke over South America

27 September 2007

Hundreds, possibly thousands of fires (locations marked in red) were burning in South America when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead on 25 September 2007, and captured this image. The most intense fire activity was in Bolivia, where fires are concentrated in the Santa Cruz Department, in the southeastern part of the country.

25 September 2007

Although naturally occurring fires can occur in the savannas and dry woodlands of southern Bolivia and northern Paraguay, this type of intense, widespread burning is likely the result of human activities. Agricultural fires (for example, fires for brush or crop-residue clearing) can get out of control and spread to surrounding forests and other natural areas. Thick smoke is hanging over much of the scene.

The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: EarthObservatory)

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