After a wildfire broke out on the morning of July 23, hundreds of residents and tourists have been evacuated from the east Aegean island of Lesbos (also known as Lesvos), Greece. The fire has been raging near the coastal area of Vatera, a popular tourist destination. It has already burned pine forest, shrubland, and cultivated fields.
Captured on July 24, this Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite image shows the active fire front which stretches for more than four km (2.5 miles). Thick billowing smoke is clearly visible in the image blowing in a southwest direction. The burn scars left across the land can be identified as a reddish-brown color and cover an area of around 1700 hectares (4200 acres).
Fifty firefighters along with nine firefighting aircraft, along with volunteers and military personnel, are working to extinguish the blaze. In response to the wildfire, the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated. The service uses satellite observations to help civil protection authorities and, in cases of disaster, the international humanitarian community, respond to emergencies.
Greece, along with many other countries in Europe, has been experiencing a prolonged heatwave with many parts of the country under fire alert. Over 300 firefighters and six aircraft are also trying to contain a wildfire currently burning in Greece’s Dadia National Park, Greece’s biggest Natura 2000 site, known for its black vulture colony.