Fires in South Africa

Fires in South Africa
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

In September and early November 2002, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua satellites captured these true- and false-color images of eastern South Africa. Numerous fires were detected and are marked with red dots. Fires appear to be most heavily concentrated in the Kwazulu-Natal region of South Africa, east of Lesotho (circular country in the southern part of the images) on November 7. On November 8, 2002, the highest concentration of fires has shifted from east of Lesotho to west of Swaziland (circular country near right center edge). The image from Sept. 19 is located to the south of the other images in the series. In many images, the country of Mozambique is visible northeast of South Africa.

In the false-color images, vegetation appears in shades of green, burned areas appear bright reddish-brown, and naturally bare soil appears pinkish-tan.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    September 19, 2002
  • Visualization Date:

    October 15, 2002
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration