Assessment of Burned Areas | Summer 2022

In recent years, Portugal has been at high risk of fire and the evidence of this is that today the risk of fire is much higher than what was predicted for 2017, which highlights the critical situation that Portugal is experiencing at the moment, with a large number of burned areas.

If 2017 was a year that marked the memory of the Portuguese people due to the large forest fires that occurred in June and October, of which the one in Pedrógão Grande stands out, it is also true that the current situation is much more serious than that, with worrying and unprecedented meteorological indicators.

For this reason, and because there is also a lot of work to be done regarding prevention measures and forest planning, the LS Engenharia Geográfica team is now releasing an Assessment of Burned Areas for the Summer of 2022 in Portugal, so that the municipalities can start implementing measures and plans for the recovery of this areas, as soon as possible.

The data used to prepare the maps and information on burned areas were obtained through Copernicus Space Program. The referred information that we now release was extracted from satellite images, namely through Sentinel-2.

This satellite provides images with 13 spectral bands, and those used for geoprocessing have a resolution of 10m. The analysis of the bands was performed in QGIS software, from which we extracted visual information about the burned areas, by parish and municipality, both in hectares and in percentage.

Below is a list of the burned areas in Portugal, over the last few months:

  • Alvaiázere
  • Ansião
  • Belmonte
  • Covilhã
  • Faro
  • Ferreira do Zêzere
  • Gouveia
  • Guarda
  • Leiria
  • Loulé
  • Manteigas
  • Murça
  • Ourém
  • Pombal
  • Vila Pouca de Aguiar
  • Valpaços

Air Quality

On the other hand, in order to be able to produce a complete information, we used the collected data to gather information and create air quality maps, which were also obtained through the Sentinel Program.

For this purpose, the sensors array in Sentinel 5P satellite, allow the collection of data on the concentration of pollutants, namely nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, formaldehyde, ozone, sulfur dioxide, whose characteristics can be found here.

Of the pollutants mentioned above, only two are associated with combustion - nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide - and only nitrogen dioxide concentration data were used for air quality in burned areas.

The analysis of this data was performed in GIS, allowing the elaboration of air quality maps, making the information visually available.

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