(MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over head and captured this image. Scores of active fires (red outlines) were detected.">

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Fires in Burma, Thailand, and Laos

Fires in Burma, Thailand, and Laos

Thick smoke hung over eastern Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, and Laos on March 9, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over head and captured this image. Scores of active fires (red outlines) were detected. During the winter dry season, intentional fires for agriculture, brush clearing, and trash disposal are common in Southeast Asia. Intentional fires also get out of control, however, and some of these fires could be accidental forest fires. Although agricultural burning is not necessarily immediately hazardous, it can have a major impact on air quality and human health, climate, and natural resources.

NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.