Monitoring the fires in Portugal
More than 2,300 firefighters with more than 700 vehicles are battling 13 blazes in Portugal. The flames are being driven by powerful winds across steep hillsides of dense pine and eucalyptus forest Wednesday. The worst-hit areas are in the centre of the country, 200 kilometres northeast of Lisbon. The fires briefly forced the evacuation of some hamlets there and the closure of a section of the A23 highway. Portugal's peak fire season, which usually occurs after 1 July, began early this year amid a severe drought. Last month, 64 people died in a wildfire near Pedrogao Grande.
Almost 1,000 other firefighters are conducting mopping-up operations at 37 other Portuguese woodland blazes Wednesday. Ash floated in the air and vast plumes of smoke covered areas of central Portugal, in the area around Serta, about 200 kilometres northeast of Lisbon. The Civil Protection Agency said 24 water-dropping aircraft were in action. No injuries have been reported in recent days as the blazes raced through thick eucalyptus and pine forests. Large wildfires are a common occurrence in summer in Portugal, where thousands of firefighters are on duty in the summer months. Emergency services in Portugal are getting no respite from wildfires that are charring wide areas of forest - and the huge billowing clouds of smoke they are generating are making visibility too poor to use water-dropping aircraft.
More information is available on U.S. News
This new Landsat 8 imagery acquired over central Portugal shows the large area of forest affected by fires at the end of July 2017. In this comparison created using bands in false colour and natural colour, users can see the large area destroyed by fires and we can see the plume and active fires. In the false colour image the burnt area is highglighted in dark red.
Another aim of these images is to promote the opportunity to download Landsat data through the ESA portals, where images captured every day are made available in near real time to the users and the scientific community.
Landsat full resolution data products are freely available for immediate download at:
View high resolution image (Bands 7, 5, 3) (JPG 7.6 MB)
View high resolution image (Bands 4, 3, 2) (JPG 6 MB)