Fires have spread across the majority of the landscape in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Fires of this number are not uncommon at this time of year in Africa. During the agricultural season of clearing field and planting new ones, farmers set fire to the remains of old crop fields to rid them of the leftover grasses and scrub.
This action also helps return nutrients to the soil to ensure a good crop during the next planting season. This agricultural ritual is one that is at least 12,000 years ago. It is economical for the farmer since large equipment is not needed to clear the fields. In Angola, the Global Forest Watch website (using data from the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite) had 61,661 alerts for fires for the past week (June 18 - June 25). In the Democratic Republic of the Congo there are 102,738 VIIRS alerts for fire for that same period.
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Image via NASA Goddard Space Flight Center