A fire-fighting plane pours water on a blaze in the neighbourhood of Vitrolles, southern France, July 25, 2004.
Fanned by a strong wind, the blaze swept through 2500 hectares of pine forest and scrubland in the Marseille region.
Source: Planet Ark
Latest Satellite Images
Aqua 13:25 UTC
26 July 2004
Fires in Southern Europe Source: MODIS
Fires in Spain and Portugal
In late July 2004, after almost two weeks of scorching temperatures, fires broke out across Portugal and Spain, threatening a natural reserve, historic towns, and people’s homes. In this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite , captured on July 27, active fire detections made by the sensor are marked in yellow with red outlines. Numerous fires are spreading smoke across the northern part of the country, while in the south (bottom left) a very large fire is burning in the Algarve region, one of the most popular tourist spots in Europe. This fire grew rapidly over the course of the day, appearing as a small dot on the image from the previous day.
Portugal Forest Fires Rage in Heat Wave
LISBON – Hundreds of firefighters battled forest fires across Portugal yesterday in a heatwave which has brought temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).
The tourist region of Faro on Portugal’s southern coast was hardest hit, with more than 150 firefighters working in mountains near the spa town of Monchique, a spokesman for the national emergency service said.
Across Portugal, hundreds of firefighters backed by water trucks, helicopters and a plane were battling to contain blazes, with the districts of Porto and Vila Real also hit.
Portugal is recovering from huge fires last year that destroyed 13 percent of its forests and woodlands.
Smoke from a fire in Mafra, about 30 km (20 miles) north of Lisbon, could be smelled in the streets of the capital.
Portugal has been hit by nearly 10,000 individual fires which have burned more than 26,800 hectares (66,200 acres), according to forest service figures from July 18. Source: Planet Ark
Wildfires Force Evacuation of 2,000 in France
NICE, France – Wildfires swept through the Bouches-du-Rhone region of southern France at the weekend forcing the evacuation of 2,000 people and destroying 2,500 hectares (6,178 acres) of brush, fire officials said.
Three firemen were injured in the blaze, in foothills north of Marseille, which was fed by strong winds.
Some 2,000 firefighters brought the blaze under control on Sunday, allowing evacuees to return to their homes.
French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin, who traveled to the region, said: “There are criminals behind this. We can see that because the fires started next to the highway. We have already made some arrests. We want to bring those responsible for these fires to justice.”
The region had been classified a “high fire risk” area for the past three days due to high temperatures, strong winds and extreme dryness.
Source: Planet Ark
Fire-weather forecast for Europe
Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for this week (left) and the predicted FWI total for next month (right) for Europe.
(Source: ECPC Fire Weather Index Forecast)