Several large fires were burning in northern and central Portugal on August 13, 2010, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. The fires are outlined in red. Two groups of large fires were producing plumes of smoke that blew southwest.
In the north, several fires burn in and around Peneda Geres National Park, Portugal’s only national park. The fires forced the evacuation of 50 people from a village in the park, reported BBC News. The second large group of fires is in Serra da Estrela, a mountainous natural park.
Twice-daily images of Portugal are available from the MODIS Rapid Response System.Portugal is the oldest nation state on the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in Europe and the world, its territory having been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. The pre-Celtic people, Iberians, Celts, Carthaginians and Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigoths and Suebi Germanic peoples. After the Muslim conquests of the Iberian Peninsula, most of the territory was part of Al-Andalus until their expulsion. Portugal as a country was established during the early Christian Reconquista. Founded in 868, the County of Portugal gained prominence after the Battle of São Mamede in 1128. The Kingdom of Portugal was later proclaimed following the Battle of Ourique in 1139, and independence from León was recognised by the Treaty of Zamora in 1143.
Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.