Fires in South America
Drought, high temperatures and low humidity have caused fires to start in several places in Brazil, according to officials.
Hundreds of fires were detected across South America by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on August 30, 2012. Fires (red dots) were detected in Bolivia (top left), Argentina (bottom left), Paraguay (center), and Brazil (right).
It is unclear which fires were caused by the drought conditions and which may have been purposely set during the biomass burning that regularly takes place at this time of year in South America. Biomass burning is concentrated during the months of July-October in the Southern Hemisphere portion of South America, and is linked to agricultural activities, including the use of fire to permanently deforest areas and convert them to agricultural land. In the image, isolated patches of intact forest appear deep green, while agricultural lands and tropical savannas appear lighter green.
This natural-color satellite image shows actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, outlined in red.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner/NASA.