Flames. Credit: Leo Lintang

Fires threaten the historic city of Dubrovnik

5 August 2007 00:00 UTC

Flames. Credit: Leo Lintang
Flames. Credit: Leo Lintang

On 5 August 2007, during strong Bora winds, several fires broke out in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Last Updated

04 October 2023

Published on

05 August 2007

By Jochen Kerkmann (EUMETSAT)

The fire crossed Žarkovica, a couple of hundred metres from the first city houses. The most desperate situation was around Mokošica, where the fire reached the houses.

After the July 2007 heat wave, which entirely covered Southern and Eastern Europe, the drought and strong winds helped spread fires all over the Croatian coast, destroying a large part of its fragile plant and animal life. According to Wikipedia, in total, there were 750 fires on the coast from 1 June to 8 August, which burned in Istria County, Zadar County, Šibenik-Knin County, the Split-Dalmatia County and the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The total burned area covered 159,000 hectares.

The AVHRR image below shows, besides numerous smaller fires in Italy, a bigger area of hot pixels around Dubrovnik. For comparison, the Meteosat-9 IR3.9 image from 20:00 UTC (see image under additional content) does not show the hot spots, probably because the area was partly covered by clouds. This demonstrated that a higher spatial resolution (or better, a smaller field of view) is crucial for hot spot detection in partly cloudy scenes. Finally, the large smoke plume from the fires can be seen in Meteosat-9 RGB composite below. It also nicely shows the cloud distribution of this Bora situation, namely low-level clouds inland (e.g. in Sarajewo), with some mountain waves, and a mainly cloud-free coastal zone.

Fires threaten the historic city of Dubrovnik
Figure 1: Metop-A, AVHRR, 5 August 2007, 19:57 UTC
Fires threaten the historic city of Dubrovnik
Figure 2: Meteosat-9 RGB Composite VIS0.6, HRV, IR10.8, 5 August 2007, 16:45 UTC.
Animation (11:45–16:45 UTC)

Additional content

Met-9 IR3.9 image (20:00 UTC)

Met-9 enhanced HRV image (16:45 UTC)