In an image feature titled 'First Comes Fire Then Comes Crops in India' last week, NASA posted a picture of crop fires across India. Instruments above the $8 billion Suomi NPP satellite detected "dozens of fires burning in India", outlined in red.
These are burning in grasslands and croplands, possibly set intentionally to strip dense vegetation with a "slash and burn" agriculture technique. While fire is effective in rapidly replenishing the soil's nutrient content, it is awful for the local air quality due to its carbon monoxide and soot content.
According to NASA: The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Places where traditional plots of open land is not available because the vegetation in the area is dense are the places where â€œslash and burnâ€ agriculture is practiced most often. These regions include parts of Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia including India where an abundance of grasslands and rainforests are found.