Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellite data was used to detect the outbreak and spread of fire within Adazi military base in Latvia. The fire spread across 800 hectares damaging forests, grasslands, and wetland areas. Using Sentinel data, earth observation researchers from the Institute for Environmental Solutions in Latvia have identified the starting point of fire, as well as humidity changes in the territory throughout the event.
Sentinel-2 data clearly shows the start of the fire on the 9th of June. The accident happened during the Swift Response 2018 training, when one of the training vehicles caught fire. Many Latvian organisations, such as State Fire and Rescue Service, State Forest Service, Air Force, Latvian National Armed Forces were working hand in hand to stop the fire. It seemed that on the 11th of June the firefighters had gained control over the flames, nonetheless the fire continued to spread until the 14th of June.
The Copernicus Programme provides open access to Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellite data. While Sentinel-1 produces all-weather, day and night radar data for land and ocean services, Sentinel-2 offers a high-resolution support of services such as forest monitoring, land cover changes and natural disaster management. With the help of Sentinel data, Latvian researchers were able to detect the status of Adazi military zone before and after the fire, as well as observe the humidity level changes that took place after the fire.
Military Training Area Adazi is the largest training area in the Baltic States. It is a unique territory which shows that military training can be combined with nature conservation. Constant military activities create specific habitats that have become home for highly protected bird species. Nearly 80% of the military zone is located in a Natura 2000 territory – a network of nature protection areas in EU.