Deadly forest fires raged in central Portugal on June 17, 2017, amid dry, hot conditions. Burning continued overnight and into the next day, visible in this image captured at 12:10 p.m. local time (11:10 Universal Time) on June 18 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Smoke billowed toward the north, while plumes were also visible to the east in Spain. The red outlines are areas where the satellite detected heat signatures indicative of active burning.
The fires burned in the mountainous areas of Pedrógão Grande, a municipality located about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Lisbon. The country’s forested landscape is prone to burning and has seen a number of large-scale fires when conditions are warm and dry. The ignition of this fire was initially attributed to lightning.
References and Related Reading
- ABC News (2017, June 19) Portugal, a country helplessly prone to forest fires. Accessed June 19, 2017.
- BBC News (2017, June 18) Portugal forest fires kill 62 near Coimbra. Accessed June 19, 2017.
- NASA Earth Observatory (2016, August 10) Fires Rage in Portugal.
- The New York Times (2017, June 18) Portugal Fires Kill More Than 60, Including Drivers Trapped in Cars. Accessed June 19, 2017.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Kathryn Hansen.
- Terra - MODIS