Fires and burn scars across South Central Africa (false color)
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
On August 5, 2004, southern Africa seemed like a continent of fire. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image pair of fires across parts of Democratic Republic of Congo (top), Angola (left), and Zimbabwe (right), in south-central Africa. In both images, fires are represented by red dots. The false-color image shows vegetation as bright green and burn scars appear reddish brown. In the true-color image, haze from the fires hovers over much of the scene.
The widespread nature of the fires and the time of year suggest that these fires are being set intentionally for agricultural purposes. Though not necessarily hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.