Portugal has been under fire, literally, this wildfire season with half the acreage burned within the 28 nation European Union. In the entire EU during the 2016 wildfire season 536,200 acres have burned and 286,600 acres burned have been within the small nation of Portugal. In the last few weeks however, cooler temperatures and a drop in wind strength gave fire crews some respite after the beginning of August brought two intense weeks of battling flames. This image taken on September 06, 2016, shows that the number of fires have lessened and the smoke has dropped off dramatically compared to earlier in August. The fires are not out yet, and firefighters will continue to battle blazes under the fires are under control and there is no threat to structures or human life. If the change in weather holds, that will help to keep new fires from starting and current fires from spreading.
This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on Sept. 06, 2016. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red. NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption: NASA/Goddard, Lynn Jenner with information from the EU’s Forest Fire Information System.