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Biomass Burning in Central and Southern Africa

Biomass Burning in Central and Southern Africa

In central and southern Africa, the biomass burning season is underway, and this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows the widespread nature of the fires, which are marked with red dots. The fires stretch all the way from Lake Tanganyika (upper right) at the border of Tanzania (east) and Democratic Republic of Congo (west) to Gabon, on the Atlantic Coast (left).

The image is a combination of the Terra MODIS overpass (left half) and Aqua MODIS overpass (right), captured within a few hours of each other on May 17, 2003. Notice that the Aqua overpass, captured later in the afternoon, shows more fires. This is typical of the daily cycle, with fire activity increasing over the course of the day.

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