Fires in Africa
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Fires in Africa

July 18, 2008

On July 15, 2004, the MODIS on the Aqua satellite captured this image of thousands of fires across south-central Africa. Each fire is represented by a red dot. In this region, seasonal agricultural burning has been a way of life for many years. People burn grasslands and savannas to encourage new vegetation that attracts grazing animals, and to clear or renew land for farming. Though not necessarily hazardous, such large-scale burning can have a strong impact on weather, climate, human health, and natural resources.

At the top right corner of the imageis Lake Tanganyika, which sits at the borders of Tanzania to the east, Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Zambia to the south, and Burundi to the north. Southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo is Angola, which takes up much of the left side of the image. Zambia is in the lower right corner.

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