NASA image: Fires in West Africa

May 2, 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 are outlined in red. Most of the fires burn in grass or cropland. 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. In West Africa, the agricultural burning season usually runs from mid- to late-January, after the year's primary crops are harvested, through April or May, when the next growing season begins. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC.

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 are outlined in red. Most of the fires burn in grass or cropland.

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.

In West Africa, the agricultural burning season usually runs from mid- to late-January, after the year's primary crops are harvested, through April or May, when the next growing season begins.

Explore further: Image: Fires in Nepal

Related Stories

Image: Fires in Nepal

April 15, 2013

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

Image: Fires in India and Nepal

April 11, 2013

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

NASA image: Fires in eastern Russia

April 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 was captured on ...

Image: Fires in Central America

April 12, 2013

On April 11, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Mexico and Central America, and acquired this true-color image of dozens of fires burning across the region.

Image: Fires in Southeastern United States

April 11, 2013

Many plumes of smoke from fires burning across the southeastern United States of America can be seen here. The fires are affecting several states including Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, and Florida.

NASA image: Fires in Western Australia

April 30, 2013

In Western Australia, the wet season occurs between December and March and the dry season between May and October. The reversals of prevailing winds in the two season drives the shift from wet to dry and back.

Recommended for you

New studies take a second look at coral bleaching culprit

December 7, 2016

Scientists have called superoxide out as the main culprit behind coral bleaching: The idea is that as this toxin build up inside coral cells, the corals fight back by ejecting the tiny energy- and color-producing algae living ...

Cosmic dust found in city rooftop gutters

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum in London, Project Stardust in Norway and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, has found samples of cosmic dust in the ...

0 comments

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.