Interactive dual-image comparison (visible and shortwave IR)
Several fires were burning across Mexico on 16 February 1998. Individual smoke plumes can be seen from many of the fires, drifting eastward and northeastward toward the Gulf of Mexico. The 3.9 micron shortwave IR imagery reveals several dark "hot spots" from these widespread fires. Note, however, that not all hot spots have a corresponding smoke plume (some biomass material produces less smoke when burned), and not all smoke plumes have a corresponding hot spot (some fires that are "smoldering" are not hot enough to saturate the shortwave IR sensor -- the GOES-8 3.9 micron sensor saturates around 335 K). Many of these fires were likely set to clear land for agricultrual purposes, but the smoldering fires in the mountains of northern Mexico could have been started by lightning.
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