The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua and Terra satellites acquired these images of grass and trees burning by small landowners on 28 February 2014. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire. Northwest winds blow large plumes of smoke over the Riau region.
The top image shows conditions in the morning (10:45 a.m. local time), while the lower image is from the afternoon (1:45 p.m. local time). The fires, which are outlined in red, build throughout the day.
Source: NASA Earth Observatory
On February 2014 a dense blanket of smoke covered the Riau Province in Indonesia leaving arround 20.000 people with respiratory problems, closing schools and reducing visibility for the past two weeks. The fires have forced the Riau government to declare a state of emergency. Eventhough illegal for everybody but for small landowners, fire is frequently used to clear brush and trees for farming, especially plantations. The smoke comes from palm oil and pulpwood plantations in Riau Province. The forest and peat soil produce dense smoke when burned, as shown in these images.
Recent Media Reports on Fires in South East Asia: Note: The hyperlinks on the left side of each news are password-protected (User ID and password to enter the GFMC database are available for partners of GFMC. To obtain the ID and password, please send your query to email@example.com). The links on the right side (in brackets) are leading to the original news source; sometimes these news are expiring rather swiftly – a reason for the establishment of the internal GFMC database):