According to news reports from Southeast Asia, the end of the dry phase of the Southeast Asian monsoon in the spring of 2005 found numerous countries facing a crippling drought. In March 2005, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and southern China were experiencing some of the most severe drought conditions in decades.
In the face of such dry conditions, both natural and human-caused fires become more likely. This image of Southeast Asia on March 30, 2005, was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. Superimposed on the sensor's digital-photo-like image are red dots that show locations where MODIS detected actively burning fires. Hundreds of smoky fires, probably a mixture of agricultural fires and wildfires, span the region from Myanmar in the west to Laos in the east.
The high-resolution image provided above has a spatial resolution of 500 meters per pixel. The MODIS Rapid Response System provides this image at additional resolutions.