Colombia & Venezuela Fires 2020

Start Date

March 27, 2020

Overview

Starting in March 2020 a number of active fires have been detected by satellites in the region around the northwestern border of Columbia and Venezuela. These fires have impacted Ciénagas del Catatumbo National Park and have brought smoke southwest toward the city of Cucuta, Colombia. The regions 2020 fire season is registering as one of the most active in the MODIS record since 2003.

The NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program has activated to Tier 1 for these fires and is monitoring the situation to determine what NASA resources and capabilities may be available to support response and recovery for the event. The Disasters Program is working with stakeholders from the United Nations Environment Programme / United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs Joint Environment Unit (UNEP / OCHA JEU)

Active fires in Colombia and Venezuela detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 27th, 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Active fires in Colombia and Venezuela detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 27th, 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


 

Disaster Types

Latest Updates

May 8, 2020
NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite captured a series of images showing a black smoky plume spreading on April 25, 2020. Animation credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory
As noted in a recent NASA Earth Observatory Image of the Day (“A Fiery Month in Zulia”) satellites have detected lots of fire activity in western Venezuela in recent weeks. Just as that story was released, a surprisingly large, dark smoke plume appeared in VIIRS and MODIS imagery. It bore little resemblance to the smaller, gray plumes that we had been watching. Forest and crops fires had caused the...
April 29, 2020
Active fires in Colombia and Venezuela detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite on March 27th, 2020. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
For much of March and April 2020, satellites have detected signatures of heat and smoke from fires burning in northwestern Venezuela. Some of them burned in and near Ciénagas del Catatumbo National Park, a flat swampy area west of Lake Maracaibo known for its rainforests full of unusual plant and animal life.