Earth  ID: 3597

Fire Observations - As the World Turns

From space, we can understand fires in ways that are impossible from the ground. NASA research has contributed to much improved detection of fire for scientific purposes using satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems. This has helped advance our understanding of the impacts of fire in many areas of earth science, including atmospheric chemistry and the impacts on protected areas. This research has led to the development of a rapid response system widely used throughout the world for both natural resource management and for firefighting by providing near real-time information. In this animation of fires around the globe in 2007, each red dot marks a new fire. From brush fires in Africa to forest fires in North America, satellites are locating every significant fire on Earth to within one kilometer. More information on the Fire Information for Resource Management (FIRMS) is available at

Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Michelle Williams (UMBC): Producer
Chris Justice (University of Maryland): Scientist
Louis Giglio (SSAI): Scientist
Inbal Becker Reshef (University of Maryland): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Fire location data courtesy of MODIS Rapid Response Project (NASA/GSFC and University of Maryland -

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Shuttle Radar Topography Mission - SRTM
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission - TRMM

Data Used:
10-meter DEM
Earth Probe/TOMS/Aerosol Index
Gridded Population of the World (Version 3 Beta)
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Fire Location Jan 1, 2007 through Dec 31, 2007

Dates of Data Used:
2001/10/01 - 2002/09/30

This item is part of these series:
Multisensor Fire Observations
Agriculture Animations - Fires

Goddard TV Tape:
G2008-042HD -- HD Fires, Ozone, and Air Quality RT

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> Biscuit
DLESE >> Forestry
SVS >> Hayman
DLESE >> Natural hazards
SVS >> Rodeo
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Fire Occurrence
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Fire
SVS >> Ecosystems
SVS >> Natural Disaster
SVS >> Natural Disaster >> Fire
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version