The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite detected dozens of fires burning in and around Burma, including Laos, Thailand, and China, on February 03, 2014. The fires are marked in red. Most of the fires burn in grass or cropland, which appears tan in this image.
The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality.