In central South America, smoke pours from hundreds of fires burning across parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image captured by the Aqua satellite on September 3, 2005. Locations where MODIS detected active fires are marked in red. Along the top portion of the scene is the Amazon Rainforest, which transitions to drier woodlands and mixed grassland landscapes farther south. Fires congregate along new roads and at the edges of existing clearings in the Amazon, indicating they are caused by people clearing or managing existing agricultural land. While they are not necessarily immediately hazardous, such fires can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the Goddard Land Processes DAAC.