Monday, September 18, 2023

A Year of Wildfire in Europe

In July Europe witnessed its largest wildfire in 23 years. The Dadia forest fire in Greece burned 97,000 hectares and killed 20 people. The large number of wildfires in Europe this year follows the even larger number of fires last year, a year which saw the second largest total burnt area this century. So far.

Czech news website Aktuálně.cz has analyzed satellite data of European Union wildfires since the year 2000 to calculate the total burnt area caused by fires for every year this century. A storymap in Burnt Europe maps out the size of European wildfires in 2024, 2023 and 2017 (the year with the highest total burn area). An interactive map at the end of the story also allows readers to explore in detail the wildfire burnt areas for every year since 2000.

A bar chart and line graph visualize the number of hectares burnt in each of the last 23 years. The data used for the charts and maps was taken from the satellite imagery of the European Forest Fire Information System. The Aktuálně.cz article includes a number of satellite images taken from EFFIS documenting some of Europe's worst wildfires this century.

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