Fires were widespread across southern Mexico and northern Central America in early May 2008. May is the end of the area’s dry season, and intentional agricultural fires as well as accidental wildfires are common. In April and early May, fires were mostly restricted to Mexico and Guatemala. In mid-May, widespread burning extended southward into Honduras as well.
This image of the area was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on May 15, 2008. Places where MODIS detected actively burning fires are marked in red. Although such fires are not necessarily immediately hazardous, they can have a large impact on air quality and human health, climate, and natural resources.
The high-resolution image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response Team provides twice-daily images of the region in additional resolutions.
NASA image by Jesse Allen. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.