Fires burned throughout Bolivia in early September 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 2, 2011.
Red outlines indicate areas where MODIS has detected high surface temperatures associated with actively burning fires. In many places, the smoke from these blazes is thick enough to completely hide the land surface below from the satellite sensor’s view. In general, the smoke plumes blow toward the west and northwest.
Wildfires can occur naturally in Bolivia, but the widespread burning evident in this image likely results from agricultural fires aimed at clearing brush or crop residue. Some agricultural fires can burn out of control.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.