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Smoke Billows from Fires in the Yucatan

Smoke Billows from Fires in the Yucatan

On April 20, 2003, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite captured this image of fires burning across the Yucatan Peninsula and Central America. The fires, marked in red, are billowing thick smoke, which has pooled into the nooks and crannies of the rugged terrain. The smoke is stretching northward over the Gulf of Mexico.

During the spring of 1998 smoke from fires in the region spread all the way to Texas and Oklahoma, causing health warnings. The fires were associated with droughts caused by the very intense El Niño that occured the previous winter.

Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC