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Fires in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
In the first week of September 2008, the dry season in southeastern Africa was nearing its peak. Although widespread agricultural fires are common in the area this time of year, the fire activity, including out-of-control bushfires, was extreme in parts of Mozambique and South Africa. Following reports of more than 40 deaths from fires in South Africa, the BBC news reported on September 5 that more than 30 people were also killed in neighboring Mozambique. Hundreds of homes had been lost. This image of Mozambique centered on the Zambeze River was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on September 7, 2008. Places where the sensor detected actively burning fires are marked in red.