Wildfire on Santa María

Wildfire on Santa María

Plumes coming from Santa María volcano in Guatemala usually have volcanic origins. But it was a wildfire burning on Santa María’s northeast slope that created this plume in late March 2018.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on March 22, 2018. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected warm surface temperatures.

A growing lava dome at the base of Santa María’s crater has puffed gas and ash nearly continuously since 1922, with 15 to 20 small explosions occurring every day.

Editor’s Note: When first published, this story incorrectly attributed the plume to volcanic activity.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    March 22, 2018
  • Visualization Date:

    March 23, 2018
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration