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Using satellite data and smart simulation algorithms to give first responders in wildfires real-time information they need to protect lives and critical infrastructure

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  • 3. Protecting our critical infrastructure




FIRE WATCH revolutionizes the way Fire Fighters respond to Wildfires. Using Earth Observation data coming from Space and Copernicus FIRE WATCH simulates the spread of wildfires in real time based on real conditions. But thats not enough: FIRE WATCH identifies all critical infrastructure at direct risk of the wildfire, where it is located, how many people will be affected and when the fire will reach the infrastructure. 


Awareness of the environmental state, weather conditions and land cover are key for predicting the speed and extent of the spread of the wildfire. We use satellite-derived products to get a real-time overview of the surroundings of the fire. 

The Input data:

  • Latest available Sentinel-2 acquisitions provide information about the vegetational state and land cover
  • Copenicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) Global Forecast gives real-time data and forecasts for the upcoming days about wind speed, wind direction and air pressure
  • Copernicus DEM deliveres information about elevation, aspect and slope of the terrain - important to predict where the fire will move to next
  • Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) deliveres daily information based on in-situ data on weather variables, such as temperature, precipitation, humidity, soil moisture. This information is cruical to assess whether the wildfire will spread in the first place and how fast it will spread

All this data is fed into a simulation algorithm that simulated the fire spread with time. 


After 48 hours of hacking, we did not only create our idea and vision for FIRE WATCH, we also set up a first prototype for a location in Spain. Did you know, that there was a real wildfire at that location in July 2022? 

In our prototype we included all environmental data from the location and time of the real fire to see where FIRE WATCH would have predicted the fire to spread. And here are the results: 


Three People - Three Days. Michael, Daniel and Anna-Lena developed the idea and prototype together by the combination of theit technical expertise: 

Anna-Lena is a Geographer and Remote Sensing Specialist. Having worked with EO and satellite data for several year she is responsible for data acquisition, processing of different EO data formats, analyzing the data and generating insights about the environment from the data. 

Michael is a geospatial software engineer and real specialist when it comes to geospatial databases and backend development. 

Daniel is a software developer and the creator of our simulation algorithm.