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Autumn Fires in China and Russia

Autumn Fires in China and Russia

In northeast Asia, where the Bureya River (flowing southward from top center) joins the Amur River (entering the image at top left), huge fires erupted in mid-October and raced across the autumn landscape. In their wake, they left these bright red burn scars in northeast China (southwest of the Amur) and Russia (northeast of the Amur). In the left hand side of the scene, the burn scar is massive and has irregular borders, which suggests the fire was out of control. News reports of wildfires blazing through forestry plantations in the Heilongjiand province of northeast China corroborate the imagery. Across the river, a pattern of speckling of burn scars and green vegetation suggests controlled agricultural burning. To the northeast, larger burn scars are visible. This image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on October 20, 2004. The large burned areas at top right were absent or much smaller in MODIS imagery from October 17.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.