Smoke pours from fires burning in the Dominican Republic in this Aqua satellite image, taken on 18 March 2005. Numerous fires, marked with red squares, dot the island, but the most intense are burning in the center of the island. The majority of the fires are probably agricultural fires, set to prepare land for planting. The largest fires, however, may be uncontrolled. These fires appear to be burning in the Cordillera Central, the mountains that arc across the center of the island of Hispaniola, near Pico Duarte, the highest point in the West Indies. Pico Duarte is covered with pine forests at its higher elevations and savannah grasslands at lower elevations. Because the smoke in the heights is thicker than other fires on the island, the large fires may be burning in the high pine forests. The dry season usually runs from December to May for most of the island; March is typically the driest month in the Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of NASA.