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Copernicus services enable civil authorities to anticipate the spread of wildfires and to assess air pollution from forest blazes

27 September 2019

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Wildfires are a natural part of the Earth's ecology as they return nutrients from dead wood and dense undergrowth to the soil. They can, however, also lead to the loss of human and animal life, damage to property and the emission of atmospheric pollutants that can travel thousands of kilometres. Rising summer temperatures and the increased frequency of droughts due to climate change compound the risk by providing ideal conditions for fires to spread. Observations and forecasts are therefore vital to identifying potential hotspots and to managing the effects of these mostly human-induced events.

In this Copernicus Observer edition, you can learn how the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (Copernicus EMS) play an essential role in helping local authorities and other actors to anticipate wildfire risk across multiple timescales while mitigating the effects on public health via air-quality monitoring.

Source: Copernicus

Image credit: Copernicus Emergency Management System; EU Joint Research Centre. - Post-fire analysis of the fire blazing on Gran Canaria on 10 August 2019.

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