Catastrophic fire in Spain in July 2005.
24 May 2022
16 July 2005
By Jochen Kerkmann, Alexander Jacob and Jose Prieto (EUMETSAT)
During July 2005 a massive fire destroyed vast tracts of pine forest in the Guadalajara Province (central Spain). The fire began on 16 July, when a barbecue in a pine forest went out of control. The fire was then spread by strong winds across a very dry landscape. Sadly, 11 volunteer firefighters died tackling the blaze which, at its height, threatened to engulf the nearby villages of Selas and Ablanque. Firefighters succeeded in creating a fire-break to stop its spread, backed up by water-bombing aircraft.
The Meteosat-8 images below show the situation on 16 July at 17:00 UTC, a few hours after the outbreak of the fire. The fires (hot spots) can be seen in the IR3.9 image as red spots (Figure 1). A special enhancement has been used to identify the hottest pixels within the image.
The animated gif (Figure 2) shows that the fire started at around 13:00 UTC. The animation also shows the presence of several smaller fires in Spain. The HRV image (Figure 3) shows the spectacular smoke plume from the fire, which crosses northern Spain and reaches the Mediterranean Sea.
Finally, the fires and the smoke can also be detected in the two RGB composites (Figure 4 and 5). They also show convective storms over the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa and thin dust over the western Mediterranean Sea.