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.