Hundreds of fires (red dots) were burning in West Africa on 22 January 2008, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite captured this image. The widespread nature of the fires and the time of year (dry season) indicate that these are probably fires that people have set for agricultural purposes.
AQUA 22 January 2008
Though not necessarily hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources. The skies appear very hazy over the Atlantic Ocean (bottom of scene); this haze may be a combination of blowing dust and smoke.
The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 1 kilometer per pixel.