NASA image: Fires plague Portugal

Aug 29, 2013
Portugal has been experiencing the worst drought in years. Drought and the dry conditions that follow lead to wildfires set by just a spark or a lightning strike. Portugal's north has been plagued with wildfires due to these such conditions. Spain and France have joined their firefight lending water-dumping aircraft in an effort to quell the raging fires. The dry conditions, heat, high winds, and difficult terrain in the area where the fires have been most active have produced what the firefighters over there have dubbed "the perfect storm." Credit: NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC.

Portugal has been experiencing the worst drought in years. Drought and the dry conditions that follow lead to wildfires set by just a spark or a lightning strike. Portugal's north has been plagued with wildfires due to these such conditions. Spain and France have joined their firefight lending water-dumping aircraft in an effort to quell the raging fires. The dry conditions, heat, high winds, and difficult terrain in the area where the fires have been most active have produced what the firefighters over there have dubbed "the perfect storm."

Portugal's Serra da Estrela National Park (south of the city of Porto) was finally under control on Saturday after 300 firefighters, with the help of planes and helicopters, battled against the flames for more than 24 hours. However, one firefighter was killed and nine other were injured during the firefighting activites. To date, four emergency workers have been killed battling Portugal's blazes. In Portugal almost 31,000 hectares (76,000 acres) have been destroyed by fire this year, according to its Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests. The cause of the blazes is still under investigation and 47 suspects have been questioned to date.

Explore further: Earthworms as nature's free fertilizer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA images: Oregon burning

Aug 07, 2013

On July 26, 2013, thunderstorms passed over southern Oregon, and lightning ignited dozens of difficult-to-control wildfires. Persistently dry weather since the beginning of 2013 had primed forests to burn, ...

Chile brings fires under control as probe expands

Jan 04, 2012

Firefighters reported progress Wednesday in bringing under control wildfires in southern Chile that have destroyed about 45,000 hectares (112,000 acres) as a special prosecutor began investigating the source ...

Squelching Sierra fires left forest ready to burn

Aug 28, 2013

Unnaturally long intervals between wildfires and years of drought primed the Sierra Nevada for the explosive conflagration burning the rugged landscape on the edge of Yosemite National Park, forestry experts ...

Recommended for you

Earthworms as nature's free fertilizer

27 minutes ago

Earthworm presence in the soil increases crop yield, shows a new study that was published this week in Scientific Reports. "This is not unexpected," says Jan Willem van Groenigen, associate professor in the ...

A success in managed pressure drilling

37 minutes ago

As one of BP's top 40 wells globally (and the only UK well qualifying for that category in 2012), the successful delivery of the Harding field's 'Producer North East 2a' well (referred to as PNE2a) was crucial to the business. ...

Passion for the natural world clears the waters

44 minutes ago

A toxic legacy has hung over the picturesque northern NSW coastal hamlet of Urunga for almost 40 years. Although now obscured by dense vegetation, the forest of dead melaleuca trees at the edge of a wetland ...

Indonesia to ratify ASEAN haze agreement

5 hours ago

Indonesia's parliament on Tuesday voted to ratify a regional agreement on cross-border haze as fires ripped through forests in the west of the country, choking neighbouring Singapore with hazardous smog.

User comments : 0