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Fires Dot the Southeastern United States

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It seems that in some states the wildfire season has started early this year.  In Georgia specifically, wildfires have broken out due to high winds, low humidity and a lot of fuel present which are the perfect combinations for a brush fire to ignite. This happens to be the case in DeKalb, Georgia.  Other fires seen in this image may be prescribed fires set to manage the upcoming fire season.  These fires are used by farmers to clear fields of debris and overgrowth. 

They are also used by the Forestry Service as a way to clear brush and undergrowth and a means to control wildfires.  Getting the detritus under control before a fire breaks out makes them easier to contain when they do.  The U.S. Park Service website claims:  "Wildfires can be caused by nature—like lava or lightning—but most are caused by humans.  As many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. The remaining 10 percent are started by lightning or lava."

This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on February 07, 2015. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner Larger image

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