Athens National Observatory: Preparing for fire season – The data-driven warning

Athens National Observatory: Preparing for fire season – The data-driven warning

The BEYOND Operational Unit of the National Observatory in Athens is in full operational readiness for the current fire season.

According to the BEYOND Center for Earth Observation and Remote Sensing Satellite Sciences, the 2022-2023 winter season is characterized by higher temperatures than normal levels for the season and a relatively low cumulative amount of rainfall over almost all of the territory. .

As the BEYOND Center, Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing at the National Observatory in Athens points out, the above finding, combined with the increasing trend of burnt areas in our country, are indications of an increased risk of fire in the coming months.

Stylianidis: He visited Samos and Ikaria during the fire season

Exercise “Aeneia 2023”, before the fire season, in Hamolia Vravronas [εικόνες]

National Observatory of Athens: Weather conditions from September to March are reminiscent of disastrous seasons

In particular, it is pointed out that in the region of Attica and Euboea, the weather conditions in the winter months (September to March) are reminiscent of similar conditions in the years when large fires occurred (2000, 2012, 2020, 2021).

“The 2023 fire season finds the services of the BEYOND Center upgraded and in full operational readiness, with the aim of offering the best possible support to the competent authorities and state agencies of the country, in terms of limitation and effective management of possible imminent risks catastrophic events.The services offered by the BEYOND Center are a powerful tool in the hands of the State and are provided free of charge to the Fire Department’s Operational Center,” emphasizes the BEYOND Center in its announcement.

More specifically, the BEYOND Center offers the following original services:

  • Real-time fire detection, throughout Greece (Real-Time Fire Monitoring 24/7 service) and continuous monitoring of the evolution of fire fronts, every 5 minutes of the hour at a spatial resolution of 500 m.
  • Satellite rapid detection service of active fires and burned areas for Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkan Peninsula and the Black Sea (Forest Fire Information System in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Balkans, Black Sea).
  • Modeling and prediction of smoke dispersion (Smoke Dispersion Service).
  • Daily, weekly and seasonal delineation of burnt areas after the disaster with assessment of damage to infrastructure, civilian property and the natural environment (Diachronic Burnt Scar Mapping).
  • Forest fire risk prediction service for the next day at a high spatial resolution of 500 meters (Daily Fire Risk Map Prediction). Unlike the usual forecast estimates that depict the risk on a coarse scale, this service is original, as it was developed with modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, which are based on the history of fires (FireHub) which we have kept since 1986, combined with extensive meteorological and satellite data and gives the forest fire risk assessment in high resolution.

You can find more information about the FireHub service here HERE.

In addition, the BEYOND Operational Unit of IAADET/EAA, within the framework of the Program Contract of 03/2021 having as its object “Evaluation of the risks of earthquakes, fires and floods in the Region of Attica” funded by the Region of Attica, conducts research in selected settlements in the region regarding the risk they present, in the event of ignition and the spread of a fire. The detailed analysis performed reaches the building block level and develops in two stages, office work and field autopsies.

In the first step, a) The simulation of numerous fire spread scenarios, b) The assessment and mapping of the vulnerability and exposure of each establishment and c) The final fire risk assessment are carried out. During the second stage, a thorough recording of the critical points and dangerous characteristics of each establishment is carried out.

Proposed actions and management plans before fires occur

Finally, actions and management plans are proposed before and during the occurrence of a fire (emergency exits, evacuation order, places of refuge, etc.). This research process uses state-of-the-art technologies and data, such as satellite data, machine learning models, etc. The results produced are collected on a specially designed electronic platform, the final recipients being the Civil Protection Service of Attica. Region, the fire department, the technical services of the municipalities and other bodies.

It should be noted that the IAADET/EAA BEYOND operational unit actively supports the Civil Protection Service of the region, as well as all the agencies involved with constant updates, training, awareness campaigns , participation in preparation exercises, etc. A recent example is the participation of the BEYOND team in the planning and successful implementation of the “AINEIAS 2023” forest fire exercise, which took place on April 24, 2023, at the Hamolia location. , in the municipality of Markopoulos. The selection of the area and the design of the exercise were based on the results of the aforementioned research.

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