Fires continued to burn in northwest India through early November, 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on November 3, 2013.
Hundreds of fires, marked by red dots, cluster in the Punjab region of India. Smoke rises from these fires and the plumes point southeastward, blown by strong winds. Smoke from the fires travels along the face of the Himalaya Mountains, and collects in the valley to the south, where the highly irritating smoke joins pollutants from cities and industry to create a heavy haze which often hangs over the region at this time of the year.
Such fire clusters are typical in this region in October and November, and are primarily agricultural in origin. They are deliberately set to manage cropland, in order to clear old crops and to improve the land to ready it for the next planting cycle.