On September 20, 2002, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Kazakhstan and numerous fires (red dots) burning there. The fires are, for the most part, agricultural fires. The patchwork of small rectangles that dominates the northern part of the image shows plots of farm or ranch land. Some of the larger blazes to the south may be grassland fires, or agricultural burns that got out of control.
These images of southern Russia (top) and Kazakhstan (bottom) from August through October 2002 reveal scattered fires burning over an already widely burned region. Fires have burned in the region on and off all summer long, leaving their dark marks across the landscape.