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Fires in Central and Southern Africa

Fires in Central and Southern Africa

In Africa’s Great Rift Valley Lakes region, numerous fires were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on September 25, 2002. The fires, which are marked with red dots, are part of an ancient cycle of fire and agriculture on the continent, in which farmers and herders use fire as a natural resource management tool. Fires are set on purpose to clear land for planting and to force regrowth of grasses and other fodder. During the burning season hundreds of these fires can be burning on any given day all across the continent.

Image by Jesse Allen, based on data from the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA-GSFC