Open burning of agricultural lands and forests on southern Borneo is creating thick smoke that reaches northward to the part of the island occupied by Malaysia. On Wednesday, October 13, air pollution levels reached some of the highest levels of the year according to news reports from the region. Despite an official ban on open burning, the fires continue, often escaping from the intended area and spreading into nearby forests. This image of the burning was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on October 13, 2004. Actively burning fires detected by MODIS are marked in red. Meanwhile, just to east, more fires are burning on the island of Sumatra, adding to the regional haze.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.