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Agricultural Slash & Burn Fires

Laos, Southeast Asia: March 28 - April 08 2015
As part of the filming of an episode of Angry Planet, we spent quite a bit of time documenting the agricultural fires that are intentionally set across Laos every year. The technique of "slash & burn" is a cheap and effective way for the farmers to clear land and add nutrients to the soil. It works in the short term, but the long term effects cause deforestation, pollution and a tremendous carbon footprint. Many of these fires also burn out of control. We encountered several instances where locals had to scramble to try and contain the flames as wind shifts caused the fires to expand beyond what they had intended.
 
We even witnessed numerous fire whirls, or "fire tornadoes" that formed in the hilly terrain.

Laos - Fire Tornadoes
Video: Fire "Tornadoes" caught on camera

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Hazy conditions, cause by the agricultural fires.
Smoky morning scene.
The smoky Laos landscape at sunset.

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