A destructive wildfire burned through Canada’s Northern Alberta region, destroying neighborhoods in Fort McMurray and displacing nearly 90,000 people. The fire began on the 1st of May and the exact cause is still unknown. High temperatures and strong winds pushed it north-east two days later. Despite the work of more than 500 firefighters, by the 8th of May the fire had burnt 1,610 square kilometers of forest. By the 24th, the fire was still not extinguished but it had not grown either.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, based in Pasadena, California is developing a new network of space-based sensors called FireSat in collaboration with the private company Quadra Pi R2E, which is based in San Francisco, California. The new sensors are designed to improve the detection of wildfires. FireSat is expected to be launched by June 2018.
Satellite data are used for mapping current forest fires, burned areas, damage, emissions, soil erosion, vegetation regeneration and for predicting the likelihood of forest fires. This information supports reconstruction, mitigation, preparedness, and disaster response.
The Copernicus Emergency Management Service was activated by the Spanish Civil Protection Authorities on July 9 after two different fires strongly affected the South of Spain since the beginning of July.
La Red Latinoamericana de Teledeteccion e Incendios Forestales (RedLaTIF) is a Latin American network that aims to coordinate and unite forest fires observation and management efforts in Latin America. This regional network workw together with the Global Observations of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC/GOLD) network. Read more
Through satellite-bases research, the Algerian Space Agency ASAL has found a positive vegetation recovering of the forest areas located in the Aïn Témouchent province after the damages caused by wildfires in 2014.
On 13 April 2015, UN-SPIDER and UNDP Bhutan kicked off a training course for Bhutanese officials on "
On 13 April 2015, UN-SPIDER and UNDP Bhutan kicked off a training course for Bhutanese officials on "Response and recovery preparedness". The course will be held until 17 April at the Centre for Space Science Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) in Dehradun, India.
UN-SPIDER holds training course for Bhutan officials
In October 2015, Germany will launch the Berlin Infrared Optical System (BIROS), a microsatellite capable of monitoring forest fires from Space. The microsatellite was partly developed by the Institute of Optical Sensor Systems in Berlin of the German Aerospace Agency (DLR). BIROS will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India.