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Story Publication logo May 24, 2021

Fires in Venezuela: An Interactive Map (Spanish)


Water rushing in Salto Angel waterfall in Venezuela after a rainy night.

Venezuela was the fifth country with most wildfires in Latin America in 2020, behind Brazil...

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This story preview was translated from Spanish. To read the original article in full, including the interactive map, visit the Prodavinci website. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

Each point on the map is an "active fire", a potential fire in near real time, detected and processed by NASA. On the ground, each spot represents 0.14 square kilometers, the equivalent of 17 soccer fields. Venezuela's Protected Areas, spaces under special administration for the conservation of its biodiversity, are turquoise polygons.

The VIIRS sensor, aboard the JPSS-1/NOAA-20 satellite, scans the Earth's surface and records temperature and light reflectance anomalies. An algorithm then processes the pixels to improve detection of active fires. But not all of these fires are uncontrolled forest fires. Many PDVSA refineries have flares or natural gas burners that appear as hot spots. You can look for clues about each case by zooming into the map to see the context.

Fire outbreaks are automatically updated every 24 hours with public data available on NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) page.


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