Fire damage assessment using Sentinel-2, the Corsica case.

Wildfire season has just started for Mediterranean regions and considering the climate forecast projections for this summer, for the fire authorities it might not be very strait forward to face.

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Sentinel-2 3D image of the Corsica Fire occurred last week. The fire spread rapidly following the hills slope due to the convective wind generated by the heat

According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service the 2m mean temperature anomaly will be positive for the summer months (June-July-August 2017) with values between 0.5°C and 1.5°C above the seasonal mean for all Mediterranean countries (cf. maps below). This anomaly will increase the fire risk to higher values.

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Last 30th May the first big wildfire of the season occurred in Southern Corsica not far from the town of Bonifacio. It has been extinguished only after one day of fight and only with the intervention of 3 Canadiers came from the continent as the area was mostly unaccessible from ground.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 image acquired the 3rd of June allows us to make a very precise assessment of the burned areas exploiting the usual NIR bands which are very sensitive to the loss of chlorophyll caused by the fire. Fire scars appears darker in the VNIR RGB composite and can be used for a proper delimitation.

GIS Fire damage assessment based on Sentinel-2 image.

The boundary delimitation has been performed using a common GIS tool and results 390 hectares of  burned vegetation (mainly mediterranean scrub).

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The plume smoke of the wildfire visible from NASA VIIRS satellite.

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