For several weeks, fires have been burning on the eastern side of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, filling the skies in the region with thick smoke that nearly hides the island from a satellite-based view. The haze reaches northward to mainland Malaysia as well. This image of the island was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on February 24, 2005. Active fire locations detected by MODIS have been marked in red.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.
A prolonged dry spell across Malaysia and Sumatra was contributing to numerous fires burning across the region, which billowed thick, choking smoke out over the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca on March 9, 2005.