On the island of Borneo between the South China Sea to the north and the Java Sea to the south, a number of smoky fires (marked in red) were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on September 27, 2004. The fires are clustered along the swampy, southern coastline of the Kalimantan region of the island, which may account for the thick smoke. According to news reports, smoke was so thick that island residents were being forced to wear respirators. Illegal agricultural burning may be resposible for the widespread problem.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.