This false-colour image from ESA’s Proba-V minisatellite, captured on 18 September, shows an abundance of smoke plumes over Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.
In this area, fires are common in September and October as farmers burn agricultural and logging debris to clear the way for crops and livestock and to prepare the land for new plantings of oil palm and acacia pulp.
This year, however, the fire season was more intense and the thick smoke caused schools to close, impacted air traffic and triggered health warnings from poor air quality.
These peat fires can linger for months, until the wet season arrives, during which they emit high levels of greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.
Launched on 7 May 2013, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.
Its main camera’s continent-spanning 2250 km swath width collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands at a 300 m pixel size, down to 100 m in its central field of view.
VITO Remote Sensing in Belgium processes and then distributes Proba-V data to users worldwide. An online image gallery highlights some of the mission’s most striking images so far, including views of storms, fires and deforestation.