Winter is encroaching all around, with snow dusting the landscape, but these fires (red dots) burning south of the Amur River that runs along the China (south)-Russia (north) border suggest that farmers aren’t quite through with the season. This region is heavily cultivated, and it is likely that these fires are agricultural in purpose, perhaps to clear the land of the remains of harvested crops. This process returns the nutrients of stalks and husks to the soil in anticipation of the next planting. This true-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on November 5, 2002.
A month before, the fires were burning north of the Amur in Russia.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.