Fires and smoke across Central America

Fires and smoke across Central America
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

On March 1, 2003, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite detected widespread fires (red dots) scattered across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Belize (to the southeast), Guatemala (to the southwest), El Salvador (center, west coast), Honduras (center, east coast), Nicaragua, and the northern part of Costa Rica (bottom right). At upper right is the Caribbean Sea, and at lower left is the Pacific Ocean.

Fires continued to flare up and die back over the next three months, and were captured in images by the Aqua and Terra MODIS sensors. Several times during the period, smoke stretched all the way across the Gulf of Mexico and into the United States. As the months passed, fires also sprang up in southern Mexico along the western coast.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    April 26, 2003
  • Visualization Date:

    April 28, 2003
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration