NASA image: Agricultural fires in western Mexico

May 31, 2013
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected dozens of fires burning in western Mexico on May 30, 2013. The fires are outlined in red.

The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants.

While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality. Although the smoke hits hardest right around the area being burned, a fair amount of it drifts.

News outlets in Texas, including NBC affiliate KCBD, report haze over the area and add "the smoke is prevalent from late March through early June. If smoke arrives here, it will likely affect those with such as asthma."

Explore further: Erosion may trigger earthquakes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA image: Farmland fires in Angola

May 30, 2013

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected hundreds of fires burning in Angola on May 24, 2013. The fires are outlined in red. Most of the fires burn in grass ...

NASA image: Fires in West Africa

May 02, 2013

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected hundreds of fires burning in the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola on May 01, 2013. The fires ...

NASA image: Agricultural fires dot Mexico

May 03, 2013

In Guerrero, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Colima, and Jalisco regions (as well as others in the Yucatan Peninsula) of Mexico hundreds of fires were detected by the MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite. The location, ...

NASA image: Fires in Eastern Russia

May 03, 2013

Fires in eastern Russia are commonplace at this time of year. Both wildfires and those deliberately set for agricultural purposes are often seen in the Amur region of Russia. This image from the Aqua satellite ...

NASA image: Fires in eastern Russia

Apr 30, 2013

Even as the snow begins to retreat in the eastern part of Russia, fires are being set to clear the land for planting. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite ...

Image: Fires in Nepal

Apr 15, 2013

Agricultural fires are set all over the world at different times to prepare the soil for the planting of new crops.

Recommended for you

Erosion may trigger earthquakes

4 hours ago

Researchers from laboratories at Géosciences Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes 1), Géosciences Montpellier (CNRS/Université de Montpellier 2) and Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (CNRS/IPGP/Université Paris Diderot), ...

Strong undersea earthquake hits eastern Indonesia

7 hours ago

A strong undersea earthquake hit off the coast of eastern Indonesia on Friday, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage and officials said it was unlikely to trigger a tsunami.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.