Worksheet 2.1

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Vegetation fires

Vegetation fires can either be be started naturally or by humans.  Natural fires are known as wild fires and these are started by lightning strikes or volcanic eruptions.  Many fires started by humans are the result of carelessness or even arson but most are deliberately started in order to convert forest land into farmland.

The following link shows you all the wildfires around the globe:

This picture, and the list below, shows where wild fires were burning between July 26th and August 4th, 2003.

1. Nine days of fires worldwide, Summer 2003 (July 26th - August 4th), author: NASA, internet image source:

Fires: Forest Fires in Portugal

In the beginning of August 2003, hot dry conditions in Central Portugal lead to forest fires which burn out of control.
[internet source:

Fires: Missouri Breaks Complex Fire

More than 100,000 acres of forest are burnt in Eastern Montana in late July 2003.  The image shows the charred landscape captured by the ASTER satellite on the 2nd August.
[internet source:

Fires: Fires in Western Canada

Wild fires blaze across parts of Canada in the first week of August, 2003.  Ten thousand people are evacuated from their homes to safety.  The Terra MODIS satellite image shows the fires burning in western Canada on August 3rd, 2003.
[internet source:

Fires: Fires in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay

Hundreds of fires are detected across South America by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on August 1st 2003.
[internet source:

Fires: Fires in Montana and Alberta

This high-resolution Landsat image from the 28th July 2003, shows fires in and around Glacier National Park, Montana.
[internet source:

Fires: Fires in Siberia

Dozens of fires burn across Siberia on the 4th August, 2003, creating a thick blanket of smoke over the region.
[internet source:

Fires: Fawn Peak Complex Fire in Washington

The Fawn Peak Complex Fire turns in on itself and begins burning previously unburned sections within the fire’s perimeter. This image is from Terra MODIS on the 30th July, 2003.
[internet source:

Fires: Forest Fire in Southern France

In the last week of July, 2003 forest fires sweep through scenic woodlands along the French Riviera.
[internet source:

Fires: Fires in Arizona and New Mexico

On the 26th July 2003, the ASTER satellite captured this high-resolution image of the Aspen Fire burn scar northeast of Tucson, Arizona.
[internet source:

Fires: Fires in Southern Italy

Dozens of fires were detected across southern Italy and Sicily on the 24th July, 2003.
[internet source:

Print out this worksheet and show the location of each of the forest fires mentioned above!

2. image source:
(modiefied by Julia Heres)


Worksheet, Solution

About this page:

Author: Dr. Yvonne Schleicher - University of Nürnberg, Germany
1. scientific reviewing: Dr. Jörg Trentmann, University of Washington, Seattle - 2004-01-27
2. scientific reviewing: Dr. Pascal Guyon, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz - 2004-05-10
educational reviewing: Dr. Helmut Schrettenbrunner and Julia Heres - University of Nürnberg, Germany
last update: 2004-02-17

Last modified: Monday, 1 April 2019, 3:06 PM