The Azores

Hundreds of miles off the coast of Portugal, the nine islands of the Azores chains are stretched out over the Atlantic Ocean. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terra satellite on May 1, 2003, shows seven of the nine islands: (from left to right) Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa (north), Terceira, Sao Miguel, and Santa Maria.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Madeira Islands, Atlantic Ocean

Much of the island of Madeira, in the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles west of Morocco, is in fact a Nature Park, which explains its lush, green appearance. The island has volcanic origins, and much of the coastline consists of rocky lava gorges that reach out to the sea. In this image of the island captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on July 29, 2003, a few fires have been detected by MODIS and are marked with red outlines. The two smaller islands are also part of the Madeira Archipelago: at top right is Porto Santo Island and at bottom right are the narrow Desert Islands.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Satellite Image, Photo of Forest Fires in Portugal

Hot and dry conditions over the Iberian Peninsula produced dozens of forest fires in Portugal in August 2003. Hundreds of firefighters worked for several weeks to control large forest fires in central and southern Portugal. Media reports indicate that about 70,000 residents in nearby communities were without power or phone during the fires, and 15 people lsot their lives. These images of the fires (marked in red), were captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra and Aqua satellites in July and August 2003.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Satellite Image, Photo of the Iberian Peninsula

Scattered fires burn throughout the Iberian Peninsula and northern Africa in this true-color Terra MODIS image acquired on June 19, 2003. The fires, which are marked in red, are mostly small, though the group of fires outside Oporto, Portugal, are much larger and show visible smoke plumes streaming to the west over the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these fires are likely to be agriculturally related, though now that the fire season has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, some are probably wildfires. This region has been experiencing record high temperatures around 95 F (35C) generally, even as high as 106 F in Lisbon. These high temperatures can make fighting fires difficult; dry heat helps the fires to grow and spread and makes some methods of firefighting more difficult or impossible. For more information about the roles that fires play in the environment on both a local and global scale, read Global Fire Monitoring on the Earth Observatory website.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Fires and smoke across Portugal

Smoke from forest fires in Portugal hangs over a bank of clouds in the Atlantic Ocean (left) on August 8, 2003. Fires are under greater control than earlier in the week, but not totally absent. Several fires were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite and are marked with red dots in the image.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Fires and burn scars across Portugal

Smoke from forest fires in Portugal hangs over a bank of clouds in the Atlantic Ocean (left) on August 8, 2003. Fires (red dots) are under greater control than earlier in the week, but not totally absent. Several fires were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite and reddish-brown burn scars dot the landscape. Vegetation is bright green.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Fires across Portugal

Firefighters in Portugal have brought most of the severe fires that were plaguing the country over the last week under control, but high temperatures, gusty winds, and the threat of electrical storms this coming weekend mean the danger has not yet passed, and a few of the fires still burning (marked with red dots in this image) are proving difficult to contain. This image of the fires was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on August 7, 2003. Fires are scattered across northern Portugal (left) and Spain (right), while a large burn scar is evident in central Portugal (see false-color image).
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Fires and burn scars across Portugal

Firefighters in Portugal have brought most of the severe fires that were plaguing the country over the last week under control, but high temperatures, gusty winds, and the threat of electrical storms this coming weekend mean the danger has not yet passed, and a few of the fires still burning (marked with red dots in this image) are proving difficult to contain. This false-color image of the fires and the burned areas (dark reddish brown) was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on August 7, 2003. Fires are scattered across northern Portugal (left) and Spain (right), while a large burn scar is evident in central Portugal.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC