Wildfires Toolkit

NASA provides data, services, and tools that enable resource managers, disaster management teams, and scientists to understand and monitor environmental conditions before a fire starts, measure the intensity and development of fires as they are burning, and assess the effects and impacts of wildfires.

Each year, forest fires consume millions of acres of land, destroying thousands of homes and properties in the Western United States and around the world. Fires like the 100,277-hectare Lutz Creek fire in British Columbia in August 2018 and the Camp Fire in California in November 2018, which burned more than 142,000 acres, exact a costly economic and human toll. The need to study the relationships between environmental factors and fires to minimize risk is critical.

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A key resource for wildland firefighters and managers around the world is NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS). The Fire Map allows you to interactively browse global active fire detections and burned area from the MODIS and VIIRS instruments.

Discover Fire and Related Data

Active Fire/Thermal Anomalies

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NASA provides data that can be used to detect active fires and thermal anomalies, such as volcanoes, and gas flares. These data are useful for studying the spatial and temporal distribution of fire, to locate persistent hot spots such as volcanoes and gas flares, and to locate the source of air pollution from smoke that may have adverse human health impacts.

Data Tutorials/Recipes

Data User Guides

Explore Fire Events in Worldview

Webinars

Land Dynamics and Burned Areas

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Land dynamics, including land cover types, vegetation health, and land surface temperature are important in predicting the severity of fire events. These measurements, along with burned area, help in the assessment of post-fire impacts.

Burned Areas

Land Cover

Land Surface Temperature

Data Tutorials/Recipes

Vegetation

Data Tutorials/Recipes

Webinars

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Image of the Camp Fire in California from November 2018, shown in Worldview. NASA's Worldview tool provides the capability to interactively browse over 900 global, full-resolution satellite imagery layers.

Lightning

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Wildland fires are most often started by humans, but lightning strikes have been the cause of some of the worst wildfires in the western United States and around the world. Wildfires caused by lightning often occur in remote locations that are not easily accessible.

Data Tutorials/Recipes

Webinars

Precipitation

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By monitoring seasonal variations in precipitation (rain and snow) fire managers are better able to predict and evaluate when and where a wildfire may develop, how severe the fire may become, and the rate at which a wildfire spreads.

Data Tutorials/Recipes

Webinars

Smoke Plumes and Air Quality

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Air quality forecasters use near real-time (NRT) data from NASA's Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) to improve some local and national air quality forecasts. Smoke plumes from agricultural burning and wildland fires can be a source of air pollution that may have adverse impacts on human health.

Aerosol Index

Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD)

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Smoke Plumes

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

Last Updated
Feb 12, 2021