Fires in Sierra Leone
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the western part of Africa on March 25, 2013, and captured many areas of agricultural fires and smoke plumes in several countries including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia. These fires were also seen in by MODIS in early February. The fires continue to be set by farmers to clear lands and bring nutrients back to the soil. The downside is that they also create air pollution which can be carried by wind patterns to other areas far from their source.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured the image of smoke and fires which are designated by the multiple red pixels. These pixels are heat signatures detected by MODIS. This is a natural-color satellite image.
Image: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team Text: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Lynn Jenner