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Smoke from Fires in Bolivia, from Andes Mountains to Manaus – August 28th, 2010

August 28th, 2010 Category: Fires, Image of the day, Lakes, Mountains, Salt Flats

Smoke from Fires in Bolivia - August 25th, 2010

Fires in Bolivia have burned more than 3.7 milion acres (1.5 million hectares) in the past few weeks and are advancing “dangerously” in four of the nation’s nine states, reported the government’s news service.

A state of emergency has been declared in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz state, one of four states in the nation battling wildfires. In addition to Santa Cruz, the fires are burning large segments of Pando, Beni and La Paz states. The flames are fanned by high wind gusts and arid conditions caused by drought, officials said.

The thumbnail image focuses on the area near the border between Peru (below) and Bolivia (above). The Andes Mountains are preventing the smoke from spreading further south into Peru. Clearly visible south of the mountains are Lake Titicaca and the Salar de Uyuni. The full extent of the veil of smoke can be seen upon opening the full image, reaching northward all the way to Manáus, Brazil.

Thick Smoke from Fires in Bolivia Near Brazil Border – August 26th, 2010

14S 59.5W

August 26th, 2010 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Smoke from Fires in Bolivia - August 24th, 2010

Smoke from fires in Bolivia hangs in the air near the Brazil-Bolivia border and drifts across, over the skies of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. A state of emergency has been declared in Bolivia as forest fires spread across the country.

The worst of the destruction has taken place in Bolivia’s Amazon and eastern regions, close to the country’s border with Brazil. As of August 20th, reported the BBC, almost 25,000 fires have destroyed about 1.5m hectares (3.7m acres) of land and more than 60 houses. Smoke from the fires has also delayed numerous flights and forced several airports to close for short periods.

President Evo Morales described the fires as “a natural phenomenon”, despite explaining that they were mostly caused by farmers clearing land ahead of the planting season. He said they had lost control of them and the fires had spread rapidly.

Fires and Deforestation Near Rio Branco, Brazil and Bolivia – August 22nd, 2010

9.9S 67.8W

August 22nd, 2010 Category: Climate Change, Fires, Image of the day, Rivers

Brazil - July 29th, 2010

The city of Rio Branco can be observed in the center of this image as an expansive tan area amidst the lush green rainforest of the Brazilian state of Acre. Several other towns and the roads connecting them also appear tan in color.

Rio Branco is located near the Brazil-Bolivia border, and the land south of the city belongs to the latter. The meandering, tan sediment-carrying river crossing the lower part of the image is the Madre de Dios River, in Bolivia.

Much deforestation can be seen in the area, realized for clearing land for settlements and agriculture. Multiple fires are also visible in both Brazil and Bolivia. Many of these were probably set in order to deforest the land.

Smoke From Fires in Bolivia

18.8S 66.9W

September 8th, 2011 Category: Fires

South America - September 6th, 2011

Visible in the upper right quadrant of the thumbnail image are wildfires burning in Bolivia. The Andes Mountains prevent the smoke from blowing to the northwest.

Most of these fires were probably set to clear land for agriculture, then began to burn out of control due to strong winds and dry conditions. The situation is similar to last year’s wildfire problems in the same region (click here for previous images).

Wildfires in South America Release Thick Cloud of Smoke

16.4S 63.5W

September 5th, 2011 Category: Fires

South America - September 4th, 2011

Smoke from scores of wildfires burning in South America blows towards the southeast; the tall Andes Mountains prevent the smoke from spreading westward.

Most of the fires are concentrated in Bolivia, where a state of emergency has been declared, although many fires are also ablaze in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. The situation is reminiscent of last year’s wildfire problems in the same region (click here for previous images).

Most of these fires were probably set on purpose in order to clear land for crops or pasture, then began to burn out of control due to dry weather and winds.

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