Fires Across the Southern United States
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Fires Across the Southern United States

April 10, 2013
Across the Deep South, numerous fires were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on November 9, 2004. The fires, marked in red, are spread across numerous states in the region, and may be seasonal agricultural burning. Late fall is the season for sugar cane burning in the area, when growers set fire to the cane fields to burn away the green leafy parts of the vegetation, allowing the sugar-containing stalk to be more easily harvested. The practice is cost-effective, but it does cause air pollution, and the Environmental Protection Agency is working with growers to develop burning practices that minimize exposure of downwind residents to harmful smoke. At bottom left, waters in the Mississippi River Delta are nearly opaque, swirls of tan, dark brown, and green contrasting against the bluer waters farther out in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center

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