With Autumn now in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, we look back at an unprecedented summer in which large parts of Europe faced soaring temperatures and unprecedented wildfires.
For this blog, we look back at some of the wildfires that devastated Greece in July and August. All of the Images below were created by Mallon colleague, Michael O’Connor.
Looking back at a summer of fire
The first image shows the entirety of Greece, with the extent of all wildfires shown in a dark red colour. The map shows the wide geographical spread of the wildfires, with fires affecting Alexandroupli in the far North of the country to the island of Rhodes in the South.
In total, 134,375ha of land were burned by hundreds of different fires. The map also highlights how the vast majority of fires were located near major population areas, affecting thousands of people and stretching the resources of the Greek Fire Service.
The second image centres on the capital city of Athens and was captured in August 2023. The areas coloured blue highlight areas of human settlement and demonstrate the vast urban sprawl of Athens. Again, the dark red areas show the extent of wildfires.
The map makes it clear just how close the wildfires made it to the city, almost encircling the residents of Athens.
The final image focuses on the town of Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece at the start of this month. The town centre can be seen at the bottom of the map with the wildfire extent encircling the whole town. The Primary roads into and out of the town have been overlaid on the map.
With the primary roads highlighted, it is apparent how close the town of Alexandroupolis came to being cut off from outside help or escape.
What can we learn from these maps?
As our climate changes and wildfires like the ones seen this summer become increasingly more common, Earth Observation has a crucial role in monitoring, tracking and planning for wildfire events.
With a near–constant stream of satellite imagery, it is now possible to have images processed and maps produced in an increasingly quick time frame. When these are then overlaid with other information, they can provide valuable insights to responders on the ground.
Want to learn more?
For further information about the methods used to produce the maps above or to discuss any Earth Observation requirements you have, contact us below.