Scores of fires were billowing thick smoke into the air over the plains of south-central Russia on May 13, 2006. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the area south of the city of Novosibirsk. Places where the sensor detected actively burning fires are marked with red dots. Beneath the smoke, numerous dark-colored burn scars mark the tan-colored landscape. It isn’t possible for MODIS to tell what caused these fires, but fire is a common tool for clearing land and pasture in this part of Russia. Although many of these fires may be intentional agricultural burns, it is also possible for intentionally set fires to get out of control in dry or windy conditions.