The Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) provides near real-time active fire locations to natural resource managers.

The Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) was developed to provide near real-time active fire locations to natural resource managers that faced challenges obtaining timely satellite-derived fire information. In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, a FIRMS US/Canada map service was launched in January 2021.

FIRMS was developed in 2007 by the University of Maryland, with funds from NASA’s Applied Sciences Program and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), to provide near real-time active fire locations to natural resource managers that faced challenges obtaining timely satellite-derived fire information.

A version of FIRMS, known as the Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS) ran at the UN FAO from 2010–2012, where it complemented the FAO’s existing suite of projects that deliver near real-time information to ongoing monitoring and emergency projects, to other UN organizations as well as providing information to the general public. GFIMS is no longer actively supported.

About FIRMS US/Canada

FIRMS US/Canada provides the USDA Forest Service, partner agencies, and the general public access to tools and data to visualize and monitor the location, extent, intensity, and impacts of wildfire activity in the U.S. and Canada. The source of low latency satellite imagery, science data products, and enabling technologies to FIRMS US/Canada include: the NASA Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EO (LANCE) and other partners. Data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) are the foundational satellite data sources of the current FIRMS US/Canada application. Additional geospatial data and information from various agencies are also integrated to provide context for current/recent wildfire activity. Sources for these additional data include the National Interagency Fire Center, Department of the Interior Office of Wildland Fire, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Canadian Interagency Fire Centre, and Natural Resources Canada

FIRMS US/Canada builds on a longstanding partnership between NASA and the Forest Service. In 2001, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, (GSFC) and the University of Maryland (UMD) developed the MODIS Land Rapid Response System to provide time-critical, science grade data products to the Forest Service and other users. That same year, the Forest Service implemented the Active Fire Mapping (AFM) Program to ingest near real-time data from the, now decommissioned, MODIS Land Rapid Response System to produce and disseminate value-added geospatial fire products. AFM since evolved to leverage and ingest MODIS and VIIRS satellite direct readout data and the NASA LANCE MODIS/VIIRS data stream.

FIRMS US/Canada is a joint NASA/Forest Service effort to modernize and optimize the legacy AFM Program data and product delivery capabilities that have provided imagery and geospatial fire products for the United States and Canada since 2001. The initial release of FIRMS US/Canada was launched in January 2021 and provides an updated platform for delivery of near real-time satellite data products as well as mapping and visualization capabilities. Data from additional near real-time satellite sources and other technical capabilities are also planned for the FIRMS US/Canada application after the initial early-2021 release.


Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) 375 m Active Fire Algorithm User Guide (Updated July 2018)

MODIS Collection 6 Active Fire Product User's Guide, Revision B (Updated December 2018)

MODIS Collection 5 Active Fire Product User’s Guide, v2.5 (Updated 31 March 2013)

The publications listed below describe FIRMS, the MODIS Active Fire and Burned Area Products, and explore the level of accuracy of the products.

Read about FIRMS in the Earthdata article Fires from Space, and how near real-time MODIS fire detections are used in NASA's Sensing Our Planet publication, Orbiting Watchtowers.

FIRMS, Active Fire, and Burned Area

Giglio L., Schroeder, W., & Justice, C.O. (2016). The collection 6 MODIS active fire detection algorithm and fire products. Remote Sensing of Environment, 178: 31-41. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.02.054 PDF

Schroeder, W., Oliva, P., Giglio, L., & Csiszar, I. A. (2014). The New VIIRS 375m active fire detection data product: algorithm description and initial assessment. Remote Sensing of Environment, 143: 85-96. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2013.12.008 PDF

Justice, C.O., Giglio, L., et al. (2011). MODIS-Derived Global Fire Products. Land Remote Sensing and Global Environmental Change. B. Ramachandran, C.O. Justice, and M.J. Abrams, Springer New York. 11: 661-679. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-6749-7_29

Davies, D.K., Ilavajhala, S., Wong, M.M., & Justice, C.O. (2009). Fire Information for Resource Management System: Archiving and Distributing MODIS Active Fire Data. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47(1): 72-79. doi:10.1109/TGRS.2008.2002076

Schroeder, W., Prins, E., Giglio, L., Csiszar, I., Schimdt, C., Morisette, J., & Morton, D. (2008). Validation of GOES and MODIS active fire detection products using ASTER and ETM+ data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112 (2008): 2711-2726. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2008.01.005

Csiszar, I., Morisette, J., & Giglio, L. (2006). Validation of active fire detection from moderate resolution satellite sensors: the MODIS example in Northern Eurasia. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 44(7): 1757-1764. doi:10.1109/TGRS.2006.875941

Giglio, L., van derWerf, G.R., Randerson, J.T., Collatz, G.J., & Kasibhatla, P. (2006). Global estimation of burned area using MODIS active fire observations. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 6: 957-974. doi:10.5194/acp-6-957-2006

Wooster, M.J., Roberts, G., Perry, G.L.W., & Kaufman, Y.J. (2005). Retrieval of biomass combustion rates and totals from fire radiative power observations: FRP derivation and calibration relationships between biomass consumption and fire radiative energy release. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, D24311. doi:10.1029/2005JD006318

Morisette, J.T., Giglio, L., Csiszar, I., Setzer, A., Schroeder, W., Morton, D., & Justice, C.O. (2005). Validation of MODIS active fire detection products derived from two algorithms. Earth Interactions, 9(9): 1-25. doi: 10.1175/EI141.1

Morisette, J.T., Giglio, L., Csiszar, I., & Justice, C.O. (2005). Validation of the MODIS Active fire product over Southern Africa with ASTER data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26: 4239-4264. doi:10.1080/01431160500113526

Wooster, M.J., Zhukov, B., & Oertel, D. (2003). Fire radiative energy for quantitative study of biomass burning: Derivation from the BIRD experimental satellite and comparison to MODIS fire products. Remote Sensing of Environment, 86(1): 83-107. doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00070-1 PDF

Giglio, L., Descloitres, J., Justice, C.O., & Kaufman, Y. (2003). An enhanced contextual fire detection algorithm for MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment, 87: 273-282. doi: 10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00184-6

Justice, C.O., Giglio, L., Korontzi, S., Owens, J., Morisette, J., Roy, D., Descloitres, J., Alleaume, S., Petitcolin, F., & Kaufman, Y.J. (2002). The MODIS fire products. Remote Sensing of Environment, 83: 244-262. doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(02)00076-7

Kaufman, Y.J., Justice, C.O., Flynn, L.P., Kendall, J.D., Prins, E.M., Giglio, L., Ward, D.E., Menzel, W.P., & Setzer, A.W. (1998). Potential global fire monitoring from EOS‐MODIS.Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), 103(D24): 32215-32238. doi:10.1029/98jd01644

The following links maybe useful for users wanting to learn more or connect with other fire networks / see other fire applications.

Wildfires Data Pathfinder

Wildfires Toolkit

Video Tutorial: How to use NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) (2022)

ArcGIS StoryMap: FIRMS: Fire Information for Resource Management System - Managing Wildfires with Satellite Data (2022)

Webinar: Discover NASA's Near Real-Time Data using LANCE (2020)

Webinar: Discover NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) (2018)


Global Observations of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) Fire Monitoring and Mapping Implementation


MODIS Active Fire and Burned Area products

MODIS Fire and Thermal Anomalies

VIIRS Fire and Thermal Anomalies

Fire Applications and Maps


Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)

Western Hemisphere

The Experimental Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (ABBA) Fire Product

European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS)

North America


U.S. Forest Service (USFS)-Missoula Fire Sciences Lab

National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)

Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC) Wildland Fire Support

NOAA Satellite and Information Service: Satellite Services Division Fire Products

Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS)

Central and South America

Mesoamerican Regional Visualization and Monitoring System (SERVIR)

Comisión nacional para el conocimiento y uso de la biodiversidad (CONABIO) - Monitoreo de puntos de calor (Incendios)

Instituto Nacional De Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) – Queimadas


Sentinel Hotspots

Landgate Firewatch Map Service

South Africa

Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS)

South and South East Asia

Eyes on the Forest- Forests of Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia

Forest Fire Control Division, Thailand

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