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Disaster Services — 14 August, 2021

Mediterranean Wildfires 2021 Response

Mediterranean Wildfires 2021 Activation Stats:

Community Mappers Total number of Mappers from Missing Maps

Total Map Edits Total number of edits from Missing Maps

Buildings Mapped Total number of buildings mapped from Missing Maps

Roads Mapped (KM) Total length of roads mapped from Missing Maps

The Mediterranean Wildfires 2021 campaign is an ongoing HOT activation organized by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team in coordination with OSM communities to respond to wildfires across the region.


Algeria “Wildfires have been affecting the Kabylia Region in northern Algeria since 9 August. More than 70 fires have occurred in 13 prefectures in the north of the country including Tizi-Ouzou, Bouira, Sétif, Khenchela, Guelma, Bejaïa, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Boumerdès, Tiaret, Medea, Tébessa, Blida and Skikda. According to media reports, more than 40 people have died as a result of the fires. The Algerian government has requested assistance from the international community in response to the fires, including through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism on 11 August for two Canadair aircraft to respond to fires in the Tizi Ouzou and Bejaïa regions. According to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), the fire risk will remain high to very extreme over the affected area.” Source: ECHO

Turkey “Between 28-30 July 2021, a total of 85 forest fires occurred along the Aegean and Mediteranean coastal regions, 74 of which have been controlled. Efforts to control 11 fires were ongoing in 5 cities (Antalya, Mugla, Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye). 6 aircraft, 42 helicopters, 660 water tankers, 65 vehicles and approximately 4,400 personnel are responding the ongoing forest fires. Many houses, workplaces, barns, agricultural lands, greenhouses, and vehicles have been also damaged. Response efforts to overcome the fires are continuing uninterruptedly.” (sic.) Source: ECHO

Tunisia “[A]s of Saturday 24 July 2021, A fire incident broke out late on the afternoon in the pine forests of Ain Mazer, Sakiet Sidi Youssef district, Kef governorate in the middle-western region of Tunisia. Ain Mazer is a small village located in a rugged area,18 km away from the centre of Sakkiet Sidi Youssef. Its population make living mainly form forestry, livestock, and crop farming. Simultaneously, since Monday 26 July 2021, another fire broke in Ghar Dimaa delegation, Jendouba governorate damaging more than 1,500 hectares of Fajj Hessin forets.” (sic.) Source: IFRC

Italy “During the morning of July 24, the area near the town of Bonarcado in the province of Oristano, in Sardinia, was affected by large fires that spread very quickly due to several factors including strong southerly winds, high temperatures and vegetation prone to fire. The fires affected farms, crops and houses and led to the evacuation of 800 people. Several ground firefighting teams and regional resources supported by national and regional air resources were deployed. The fires are still affecting large areas involving brush forests, wildlands and urban interface areas. The Italian government has also activated the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism in support of the national resources. France deployed 2 Canadair aircraft from the European Civil Protection Pool (ECPP) and the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) mobilised 2 additional Canadair aircraft from the rescEU reserve hosted by Greece.” (sic.) Source: EFFIS

Size-up Details

Event Name: Mediterranean Wildfires 2021
Type ofEvent: Sudden onset
Location: Algeria, Greece, Italy, Tunisia & Turkey
Geographic Scope: Mediterranean Region
Estimated Humanitarian Impact: 1000s diplaced, significant fatalities in Algeria, short-term internal diplacement will be high in the region
Estimated Duration: Week(s) to Month(s)
Event Scope: Moderate
Local Contacts: Hamdouche Mourad - OSM Algeria, Can Unen - HOT Turkey/YC
Anticipated Needs:Base data in impacted areas, support with imagery coordination and tasking.
Request(s): General basemap data improvement request
Requesting Org(s): OSM Algeria
Current capacity to support GREEN - Capacity is Good to manage a respons
Need for Activation: Possibly
Lead Org(s): HOT, Yer Çizenler
Active Orgs: HOT, Yer Çizenler, OSM Algeria

Response Details

Based on mapping needs, the following areas in the Mediterranean will be monitored for this campaign:

- Algeria
- Greece
- Italy
- Tunisia
- Turkey

Preemptively set exports at HDX to update every day.

More info on the wiki page

Update #1

Mapping the area impacted near Béjaïa done. Begun releasing projects for the area near Tizi Ouzou (see here)

This area will be generally a bit more densely populated so beginners should not hesitate to split or unlock tasks that will take more than 20-30 minutes to complete.

Wiki page.

Conclusion, October 5th


The Mediterranean Fires Activation was launched upon a request from the Local Algeria OSM community. Hamdouche Mourad made the request and gave the initial area of interest (AOI).
Russell Deffner (Disaster Response Coordinator) compared the given AOI to the fire perimeters in Algeria that were shown on GDACS and there was good overlap but to keep the projects tighter to the area affected, he used the fire perimeters from GDACS, as a second larger fire had developed.
The activation ended up with 3 projects to cover the initial fire and 5 projects to cover the second. Even with the heavy load on projects from Haiti and South Sudan projects (both 20+ projects), these all went quite fast; validation staying very close (~20% difference between mapped % and validated).


  • Using the fire perimeters and QGIS to make a convex hull around the area worked very well to create projects
  • Look for more resilient ways communication platforms/ways to reach the local community throughout the activation.
  • Better coordination between assessment of teams capacity and activation decisions.
  • The project was scaled down from the original scope of 5 countries for 2 instead.
  • In Algeria 8 projects were completely mapped and validated.
  • In Turkey, the OSM community helped translate information regarding the activation into Arabic, and HOT shared a map of the fires created by the Turkish community.