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NASA images from space show a world on fire

NASA's thermal bands are detecting actively burning fires. And there are a lot of them.

A fire at an oil palm plantation in Pekanbaru, Riau province, Sumatra on Aug. 14, 2018.
Wahyudi/AFP/Getty Images

At all times, somewhere across the globe, there will be fire. These fires might be agricultural fires, they might be controlled burns, but they also might be wildfires, spreading out of control.

New images, taken using NASA's Worldview application, show a world on fire.


This image was captured on Aug. 22, 2018.  


In this photo, the red dots designate points on the planet where NASA's thermal bands have detected actively burning fires. In Africa, says NASA, where the majority of the world fires appear to be burning, a vast number of these are most likely strategically set agricultural fires, designed to manage land and return nutrients to the soil.

However a large number represent out of control wildfires. Particularly in North America and Chile.

The fires in Australia are bushfires, which tend to be common during dry seasons, but Australia is currently in the middle of winter (and a drought). "As the climate continues to change," said NASA in a post, "and areas become hotter and drier, more and more extreme bushfires will break out across the entire Australian continent."

Worldview works by stitching up to 700 full-resolution satellite imagery layers, and combines them with current data. It can update within three hours of observation.

Using NASA's Worldview app, you can check it out for yourself.

And know that this is all fine.