Balkan Forest Fires

The Balkans Forest Fires 

27 August 2007

This image of the Balkan Peninsula shows fires (marked in red)in Greece, Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, but also in Bulgaria on 26August 2007. The image and fire detections were collected by the ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

The large image provided above has a spatial resolution (level of detail) of250 meters per pixel.

(source: EarthObservatory)


The death toll from wildfires raging through Greece has risen to 59 and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has called for a state ofemergency promised hefty financial assistance for fire-ravaged victims andregions.

The following images show a time series of overpasses collected by the ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)on NASA’s Aqua satellite from 23 – 25August.

23 August 2007

24 August 2007

25 August 2007

Most fires, which are suspected to be acts of arson, have been fanned by gale force windswith gusts around 100 km/h and heat. Thousands of hectares of crops, pasture land and forest have beendestroyed so far.

It is suspected that political extremists used arson as a way to disrupt the nationalelections on 19 September, as it is unlikely that so many fires sparked simultaneously in so many places isa coincidence.

The most threatening blazes were centred in the southwest Peloponnese peninsula, the hardest hit area sofar, and in two districts in southern Evia island, Aliveri and Styra, as well as southeast of Athens at the suburban Kalyviatownship.

Fire-fighters are hoping for weaker winds and assistance from a half dozen neighbouring and west European countries — in the form of fire-fighting aircraft — as allies on Sunday in the battle to contain theflames.


Due to high temperatures and dry weather conditions severalblazes throughout Albania are out of control. Approximately 100 fires are raging during thisweek, affecting ca 1.500 hectares of forest. At the moment, the largest fires are burning in the regionsof Korca, Erseke, Veleck, Mirdite und Kukes. Albania requested internationalassistance for aerial intervention to support fire fighting operations on theground. Standard fire fighting equipment is regarded ineffective, since the disaster area ismountainous.

see also


A state of emergency has been declared in the municipalities of Topolovgrad andSvilengrad. One man has died and several houses have been  burned completelyin the Haskovo region. The situation was extremely difficult.

Seealso the GFMC Media page:

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