Fires in Central United States
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Agricultural burning in preparation for the growing season was underway in the central United States at the time this image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on March 31, 2004. Across the dun-colored winter landscape, spring green is beginning to spread across the south-central parts of the country, including (top left to bottom) Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and (top right to bottom) Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
Fires have been marked with red dots in the image. The smokier fires in Arkansas may be prescribed burns on state or federal lands that are set in the spring to decrease built-up underbrush and other vegetation that could contribute to more severe wildfires later in the season. Though not necessarily hazardous, large-scale burning can have an impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.