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Fires in Mexico and Central America
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
A thick haze of smoke covers southern Mexico and Central America in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite on April 30, 2003. Although fire is commonly used in agriculture to clear land for planting crops, such fires can easily get out of control and grow into wildfires. In Nicaragua (bottom right corner), forest fires have been raging for the past three months, and have destroyed crops, tree plantations, and forests. The fires in this image are marked in red. They are spread across southern Mexico (top), then in Guatemala (south of Mexico), Honduras (to the east) and El Salvador (to the south), and Nicaragua. Smoke is spreading out over the Gulf of Mexico (top) and the Caribbean Sea (right).
The high-resolution image provided above is 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution of 250 meters.