A string of high heat days and dry conditions have sparked numerous wildfires in Portugal this season. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on June 15.
A large red hotspot sits in the north of the country, near the city of Porto. Smoke rises from this fire and pours across the North Atlantic Ocean. An additional red hotspot can be seen north of Lisbon. Red “hotspots” mark where the thermal sensors on the MODIS instrument detect temperature higher than background. When combined with smoke, these hotspots are diagnostic for actively burning fire.
Firefighters in both Portugal and Spain continue to fight a high number of fires due to current weather conditions. Both countries are facing the worst drought conditions in 70 years, which leaves vegetation tinder-dry and intensifies the wildfire outbreak risk.