Image: Agricultural fires in Ecuador Dec. 3, 2013

Dec 03, 2013
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.

The fires (outlined in red) in this image of Ecuador taken by the Aqua satellite are most likely agricultural in nature.

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 helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality.

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on Dec. 02, 2013. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS's thermal bands, are outlined in red.

Explore further: Ice in Arctic seas shrinks to sixth-lowest recorded

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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: Agricultural fires in central Africa

Aug 22, 2013

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite detected hundreds of fires burning in central Africa on August 21, 2013. The fires are outlined in red. Most of the fires ...

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 in western Mexico

May 31, 2013

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.

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 ...

Recommended for you

Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific

15 hours ago

A new study released Monday found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of North America over the past century closely followed natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse ...

NASA image: Wildfires in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia

15 hours ago

Most of the fires captured in this image burn in Khabarovsk Krai, a territory occupying the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk. Dozens of red hotspots, accompanied by plumes of smoke mark active fires. The smoke, ...

NASA sees Tropical Depression Polo winding down

18 hours ago

Infrared satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed only a swirl of low-level clouds some deep clouds around Polo's weakening center on Sept. 22 as the storm weakened to a depression.

User comments : 0