As many as thirty forest fires were started in the last week of July 2003 along France’s Mediterranean Coast. Several tourists were killed and thousands more evacuated by the fires, which appear to have been started by arson, according to news reports. The fires are being helped along by exceptionally dry and sunny weather.
This pair of images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite was captured on July 30, 2003. The top scene shows southeastern France in natural color, with the wooded hills along the coast appearing deep green, and active fire detections marked in red. In the bottom image in the pair, the image has been enhanced to show the burned areas, which appear brick red.