Biodiversity in Belize
Biological Diversity in Belize
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Mesoamerica burning

Read more about fires in Belize's forest ecosystems.

SERVIR: Fire images at the Mesoamerican Visualization and Monitoring System

Click here to view and build customized maps of active fires in Mesoamerica through SERVIR and MODIS.

Fires in Belize: 2005

Once more the unusual dry and hot conditions in Central America and Mexico have resulted in many fires throughout the region during the 2005 dry season. Virtually all of these fires are set by farmers preparing their fields. Under the current dry conditions, these fires escape into the surrounding forest with devastating results. Normally the fire situation gets serious around May, but this year the most heavy burning took place in April. The dry season ended late May.

The maps below have been generated using MODIS active fire data. Click the images for a larger file (gif). Green lines represent protected areas boundaries.

The MODIS active fire data are produced by the MODIS Rapid Response System, a collaboration between the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre (GSFC) and the University of Maryland (UMD).

Accumulated fires for May 2005, Notice:

  • Decrease of fires in neighboring Peten (Guatemala), Decrease possibly a result of the 2004 experience. In that year the rains came early and this year farmers probably decided to be on the safe side and did most of their burning in April
  • continued burning of cleared vegetation in the Chalillo dam area. Fires escaping into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve?
  • Savanna fires in the coastal plains.
  • Agricultural fires in the south of the Columbia River Forest Reserve.

 

Fires April 2005

Accumulated fires for April 2005. Notice:

  • Increase of fires in neighboring Peten (Guatemala) and
  • continued burning of cleared vegetation in the Chalillo dam area.
  • Heavy savanna fires in the coastal plains.
  • Agricultural fires in the south of the Columbia River Forest Reserve.
  • Agricultural fires (Guatemalan incursions) in Caracol Archaeological Reserve.
Fires March 2005

Accumulated fires for March 2005. Notice:

  • Large fires in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve partly resulting from military exercises.
  • Fires resulting from vegetation clearing in the Chalillo dam area.
  • Agricultural fires in the south of the Columbia River Forest Reserve.

Fires February 2005

Accumulated fires for February 2005. The fire intensity is slowly intensifying. Particularly there is an increase in savanna fires.

Fires January 2005

Accumulated fires for January 2005. The dry season is only just starting and there are relatively few fires still. Yet, in a "normal "year, it would have been too wet still to have any fires.


For images that are updated every few hours, go to this Colorado State "Real-time Satellite Rainfall and Fire Products for Central America" site.

Read more about fires in Belize's forest ecosystems.

Click here to view and build customized maps of active fires in Mesoamerica through SERVIR and MODIS.

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Last modified: May 28, 2006