Hundreds of fires continued to burn in northwest India in late October, 2012. Most of the fires are located in the agricultural Punjab region, but a few are also located in Pakistan, to the west, and a few more spot the agricultural land east of the Punjab region. Smoke from these fires contributes to the heavy haze hanging over the land.
This cluster of fires is a common sight from space each year in October and November. They appear in an agricultural region where October brings the end of the Kharif crop (autumn crop) and the beginning of the Rabi crop (spring crop). As the season changes, farmers often use fire to clear the fields after harvest in order to ready the land for new planting.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on October 28, 2012 as it flew overhead.