May 15, 2020 - Smoke from fires in Mexico

Fires in Mexico

Hundreds of fires raged across Mexico, covering the coastal state of Guerrero in south-central Mexico with a thick blanket of smoke in mid-May, 2020. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a true-color image of the smoky scene on May 13.

Given the time of year, the location, and the high numbers of fires it is likely most of these fires have been set for agricultural purposes, typically to clear old crops, freshen pasture, or to burn forest to open new land for crops or pasture. Drought and high winds create a high risk of rapid spread as well as ignition of wildfires from lightning or human activity. March to May is the height of the fire season in many parts of Mexico. The rainy season begins in late May or June and if it is robust, may bring some relief to the fires burning across Mexico.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 5/13/2020
Resolutions: 1km (65.9 KB), 500m (283.2 KB), 250m (616.9 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC