Widespread smoke and large burned area scars from the wildfires across in Greece in August 2021 shown in satellite imagery.
21 February 2023
23 August 2021
By HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland), Federico Fierli (EUMETSAT) and Sancha Lancaster (Pactum)
A large number of wildfires developed in the eastern Mediterranean between late July and early August 2021. The largest wildfires were in Attica, Olympia, Messenia, and Greece's second largest island, Evia (also known as Euboea). The event in Evia is visible in Figure 1 as intense values of Fire Radiative Power, it had a particularly destructive impact with at least two people reported to have died and 125,000 hectares of land destroyed.
The wide extent of the damage caused by the fires on Evia and north of Athens can be clearly seen by comparing 2020 and 2021 imagery from Sentinel-3A (Figure 2).
Also seen on the zoomed in Sentinel-3B Natural Colour image from 08:25 UTC on 8 August (Figure 3).
On the comparison of the Sentinel-3 Natural Colour and Fire Temperature images at 09:05 UTC on 8 August (Figure 4), the bright yellow spots show the location of the fires at that time were at the northern tip of the island, while the very faint yellow hue over the burned scars indicates slightly higher land surface temperature.
Extensive smoke from the fires on the same day could also be seen in both Sentinel-3 OLCI True Colour and MODIS imagery (Figures 5 and 6).
Fire Consumes Large Swaths of Greece (NASA Earth Observatory)
Greece wildfires: Evia island residents forced to evacuate (BBC News)
Greece wildfires: Multinational force works to tame flare-ups on Evia and in Peloponnese (euronews)
Over 100,000 hectares burnt in two weeks (ekathimerini.com)
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