Fires were burning across eastern China in early October, 2012, contributing to the haze hanging over the region. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on October 2 at 5:25 UTC (1:25 p.m. China Standard Time).
In this image, red hotspots mark areas where the thermal sensors on the MODIS instrument have detected temperatures higher than background. When combined with smoke, such hotspots indicate actively burning fires.
Fires appear throughout eastern China, but cluster in agricultural land southwest of the Bohai Sea (on the northern coast) and in the Yangtze River Valley to the south. Sediment can be seen pouring from the Yangtze River into the East China Sea.
The time of year and the distribution of the fires suggest that they are likely agricultural fires, deliberately set to manage crop land or pasture land.