On February 17, 2005, seasonal burning in Southeast Asia was widespread. When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over head, the sensor detected scores of active fires (locations marked in red) across (clockwise from top left) Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. Although seasonal agricultural burning is common this time of year, it is not possible to know if all of these fires are agricultural in purpose. Some may be fires that escaped into forest or other non-agricultural areas from adjacent agricultural land. Though not necessarily immediately hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.