August 2020 Wild Fires in Huelva, Spain

Using LSA SAF Fire products to forecast and monitoring

Several wild fires broke out in wider area of south west Iberian peninsula in 2020. Aiming to prevent such situation or monitoring area that have higher probability of wild fire the fire Risk Map product of LSA SAF (FRM, LSA-204; https://landsaf.ipma.pt/en/products/fire-products/frm/) can be used. Daily mapping of fire risk over Southern, South Eastern and South Western Europe showed high risk of fires as presented in Figure 1. We took a closer look at south western Iberian peninsula where several fires broke out, among which the biggest European wildfire until September 2020 took place in province of Huelva. Beside that another bigger wild fire broke out in province of Caceres, few hundred kilometers northeast of fire in Huelva.

West Andalusia region of Huelva is very dry in the summer time, but in August 2020 temperatures were higher than normal and there were no precipitation for a month. Constant wind breezing made area even drier and worsened conditions when fire already broke out. Size of the fire spread across the area of 10 000 hectares.

At such a big scale fire monitoring can be done with Fire Radiative Power Pixel product (FRPPIXEL, LSA-502; https://landsaf.ipma.pt/en/products/fire-products/frppixel/) that records information on the location, timing and fire radiative power (FRP, in MWatts) detected every 15 minutes.

 

Figure 1 - Daily fire risk classes for Mediterranean Europe at the end of August 2020, using the FRM product. Green, yellow and orange correspond to low, moderate and high risk of fire for the next 24 hours. Black square corresponds to 24 hours fire risk in province of Huelva.

 

Figure 2 - Animation of daily maximum fire radiative power from 27th until 30th of August 2020, expressed in Watts per square meter, using FRPPIXEL product. Maximum FRP for each pixel is selected as maximum value of FPR within a day. Area inside black square corresponds to province of Huelva.