Fire season is well underway in western Mexico. According to Mexico’s National Forestry Commission, as of April 27, the state of Jalisco has tallied 491 forest fires affecting 25,311 hectares (98 square miles)—the most area burned in any Mexican state so far this year.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of smoke plumes (gray) billowing from several wildland fires in Jalisco on April 30, 2023. Notice that the Pacific Ocean also appears gray-brown, making it difficult to see the plume over areas of water. This is due to an optical phenomenon known as sunglint.
In recent weeks, fires have caused poor air quality throughout the state, including in population centers such as Guadalajara and Zapopan. One blaze that started on March 27 in the municipality of Tala led to the evacuation of more than 500 nearby residents.
The Jalisco state government has ramped up resources to combat wildfires, according to a recent statement. In addition to controlling forest fires, firefighters were also deployed to grassland and undergrowth blazes.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview. Caption by Lindsey Doermann.