Fires in Central and Southern Africa

Fires in Central and Southern Africa

Fire scars and smoke plumes result from biomass burning in the savannas of southern Democratic Republic of Congo. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station observed the seasonal increase in savanna burning, which traditionally peaks in June in southern Democratic Republic of Congo. This image, taken on May 16, 2002, is centered near 8.6 S, 27.4 E. These fires, likely the result of human activities, are thought to contribute significant emissions to the atmosphere (Cahoon, et al, 1992). The darker area in the foreground is a more heavily wooded hillside; most burning occurs in the grassier savannas which appear red-brown.

Images & Animations


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  • JPEG
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  • JPEG 652 KB

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  • Data Date:

    May 16, 2002
  • Visualization Date:

    July 30, 2002
  • Sensor(s):

    ISS - Digital Camera
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration