German wildfire

02 Jul 2019

On 30 June, a wildfire broke out at a military training site in Lübtheen, in northern Germany.

This animation was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, with a resolution of up to 10 m, on 1 July at 10:20 GMT (12:20 CEST). The true-colour image shows the smoke emerging from the training site, while the other image was processed using the shortwave infrared which allows for a better view of the blaze under the smoke – which can be seen in bright orange.

Authorities claim it is the largest blaze in the history of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state.

Emergency services had difficulties containing the site, owing to unexploded munitions from military activities going back as far as World War II. Water has been diverted from the Elbe river to tackle the blaze. According to local fire fighters, the fire swept through 400 hectares of forest, and hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes.

Germany has been one of the many European countries hit by the recent heatwave.

Wildfire in Lübtheen, northern Germany
Wildfire in Lübtheen, northern Germany. Copyright: contains modified Copernicus
data (2019), processed by ESA CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO


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