Spring is progressing and fires are increasing across eastern China and southeastern Russia in late April 2004. This image from the 28th shows widespread fire activity—probably agricultural—across the two countries. Active fire detections made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite have been marked in the scene in red. The accompanying false-color image shows several large, reddish brown burn scars where fires have already stripped away the vegetation. In the false-color image, vegetation is bright green, and lingering snow is light blue.
The widespread nature of the fires and the time of year suggests these fires are being set intentionally for agricultural purposes like pasture and farmland clearing. Though not necessarily immediately hazardous, such burning can have a strong impact on climate, weather, human health, and natural resources.