Hundreds of fires were burning in northwest India when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image on October 26, 2010. The fires are outlined in red. Though no single fire is large or particularly smoky, the fires cumulatively produce a heavy veil of smoke that swaths northern India and Pakistan.
This cluster of fires burns every year in October and November. The fires are in an agricultural region where October marks the end of the Kharif crop (autumn crop) and the beginning of the Rabi crop (spring crop). The fires were set by farmers, probably clearing the land between harvest and planting.
Twice-daily images of northwest India are available from the MODIS Rapid Response System.
- Foreign Agricultural Service. (2010, October 20). Crop Explorer, South Asia. United States Department of Agriculture.