European wildfire alert: Top five Spanish, French, and Italian areas at risk this summer

AiDash, a leading provider of vegetation management and other satellite- and AI-powered operations, maintenance, and sustainability solutions, has identified the top five areas in Spain, France, and Italy that are most at risk of wildfires this summer. The findings are the result of the company’s ongoing efforts to apply AI and satellite technology to mitigate the adverse effects of wildfires globally.

Many of these areas are major tourism hotspots and are particularly vulnerable due to a combination of factors including persistently arid weather, high average temperatures, and a significant concentration of vegetation. Popular events such as La Tomatina festival in Valencia, La Mercè festival in Barcelona, and numerous other attractions across these summer locations all draw large crowds to areas at risk of wildfires.

Top five summer wildfire areas – Spain, France, Italy:

-Spain: Córdoba, Barcelona, Valencia, Castellón, Huelva.

-France: Gard, Hérault, Alpes-Maritimes, Vaucluse, Var

-Italy: Catania, Bari, Asti,, Savona, Cagliari

Many of these at-risk regions include forested areas containing rural villages, where locals are the primary victims. A recent wildfire in Castellón led to the evacuation of ten rural towns and threatened to spread to one of the region’s eight natural parks containing threatened species such as the Iberian Ibex and wildcat. These remote areas often contain large amounts of vegetation that, when dried out from extreme heat and low humidity winds, acts as the potent fuel for fires.

AiDash’s Disaster and Disruption Management System (DDMS) can forecast the likelihood of a wildfire occurring in these areas and help mitigate the risk of damage to local communities. Utilising the system can prove invaluable in wildfire management, especially in crowded areas that welcome countless tourists during summer. In 2021, a wildfire near Saint-Tropez in the French region of Var (identified by AiDash as one of the most at-risk areas this summer) displaced around 10,000 people – including tourists holidaying on the French Riviera – and required the deployment of 1,200 firefighters.

By identifying these high-risk areas AiDash can work with local authorities to plan for and counteract many of the harmful effects of these wildfires. For example, AiDash can help detect the most effective locations for preventative firebreaks and assist in the deployment of firefighting resources by isolating critical hotspots and simulating restoration based on resources, cost, and time with automatic, prioritized work assignments.

“AiDash is committed to using AI and satellite technology to help protect communities and the environment from the devastating effects of wildfires,” said Abhishek Vinod Singh, CEO of AiDash. “Our technology can help pinpoint vulnerable areas to limit the risk of damage to both residential areas and non-residential visitors alike. Local authorities in Spain, France, and Italy must begin to use this new technology to help protect local communities as the threat of wildfires continues to increase with the worsening effects of climate change.”

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