In the beginning of August, in conjunction with the heatwave over Western and Central Europe, Portugal was hit by the most devastating forest fire in a century.
21 October 2020
03 August 2003
About one-third of Portugal is covered by forest and each year thousands of trees are lost to flames during the hot, dry summer. There have been some 1,700 forest fires in the country so far in 2003, destroying more than 26,000 hectares (64,000 acres) of brush and trees, according to forest service figures.
During the summer thousands of firemen were battling for weeks to keep the fires under control. More than 10 people died and more than 50,000 hectares of forest burned. Spain was also affected, although to a lesser extent, by several forest fires. MSG, with its channels in the visible and near infrared range, provided near-real time information about the location of the fires and the extent of the smoke plumes.
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