Wildfires burned across Lebanon in mid-October 2019. A pair of images taken just 10 days apart by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A satellite show the burn scar from one of the larger wildfires.
North of the fire scar is the country’s capital, Beirut. The October 18 image reveals several bright spots on city streets from numerous fires of a different type. These fires were set by protesters, burning tires and other debris to register frustration with government corruption, new taxes, declining public services, and an economic crisis.
While Sentinel’s shortwave infrared and near-infrared bands capture burn scars, the brightness of reflected light from active fires saturates the sensors to show the locations of the hotspots.