The dry season has taken hold in southeast Asia, as this March 30, 2005, true-color Aqua MODIS image of dense smoke and scores of fires illustrates. Fires are set throughout the day, therefore more tend to be detected in Aqua imagery, which is acquired in an overpass later than the Terra MODIS instrument. Smoke also accumulates over the course of the day, settling into the valleys where the wind doesn't carry it away over the landscape.
In 2005, severe drought dried the vegetation throughout Southeast Asia, making the region more prone to fire. The effect of the widespread fires on air quality is clearly visible in this image. The heavy grey smoke settles in the valleys of northern Laos and Thailand, and blankets sections of Myanmar and Vietnam.
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