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10 wildfires as seen from space

By: Katherine Butler on June 3, 2012, 3:23 p.m.
South Africa burning

Photo: NASA

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South Africa burning

NASA calls southern Africa one of the most fire-prone spots in the world because fires are caused by both lightning strikes and farmers trying to clear woodlands for farming. Here we see the smoke over Africa in July 2011. As NASA notes, you can see smoke plumes “from central Zimbabwe (image lower left) to northern Malawi more than 1,000 kilometers away (image top right), and in the wide coastal plains of the lower Zambezi River valley of Mozambique (image lower right).” This photo was taken from the International Space Station, and you can see the solar panels of a Russian spacecraft in the left portion of the image.