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United States Active Fires 2012

Records maintained by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and NASA both indicate that 2012 was an extraordinary year for wildfires in the United States.

NIFC statistics show that more than 9.1 million acres had burned as of November 30, 2012—the third highest total in a record that dates back to 1960. Also notable: despite the high number of acres burned in 2012, the total number of fires—55,505—was low, the least on the NIFC record. Average fire size in 2012 was the highest on the record.

The visualizations depict fires that burned between January 1 and October 31, 2012, as detected by the MODIS instruments. The fires are displayed over MODIS' vegetation and snow cover data. Yellow and orange indicates fires that were more intense and had a larger area of active burning. Most of these intense fires occurred in the western United States, where lightning and human activity often sparks blazes that firefighters cannot contain. Many of the lower intensity fires shown in red were prescribed fires, lit for either agricultural or ecosystem management purposes.

The Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) can routinely detect both flaming and smoldering fires that are aproximately 1000 square meters in size. Under pristine and extremely rare observing conditions even smaller flaming fires that are aproximately 50 square meters can be detected. Each active fire location represents the center of a 1 km pixel that is flagged by the algorithm as containing a fire within the pixel. For more information on the fire data, see the MODIS Collection 5 Active Fire Product User's Guide. For more information on the algorithm, see Giglio, L., J. Descloitres, C. O. Justice, and Y. J. Kaufman. 2003. An enhanced contextual fire detection algorithm for MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment, 87:273-282


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Cumulative Daily MODIS Active Fires in the United States during 2012 over 16 day composite MODIS NDVI and 16 day composite MODIS snow and ice. In this animation active fires persist for 30 days with newer fires being overlaid on top of older fires.    Cumulative Daily MODIS Active Fires in the United States during 2012 over 16 day composite MODIS NDVI and 16 day composite MODIS snow and ice. In this animation active fires persist for 30 days with newer fires being overlaid on top of older fires.
Duration: 20.4 seconds
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  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-4   26 MB
  640x360 (30 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
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Daily MODIS Active Fires in the United States during 2012 over 16 day composite MODIS NDVI and 16 day composite MODIS snow and ice.  In this animation active fires persist for 10 days with newer fires being overlaid on top of older fires.    Daily MODIS Active Fires in the United States during 2012 over 16 day composite MODIS NDVI and 16 day composite MODIS snow and ice. In this animation active fires persist for 10 days with newer fires being overlaid on top of older fires.
Duration: 40.8 seconds
Available formats:
  1920x1080 MPEG-4   39 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   6 MB
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  1278x718   Frames
  320x180     PNG           72 KB
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Colortable showing MODIS fire pixels. Bright yellow shows areas that are more intense and have a larger area that is actively burning, flaming and/or smoldering.
   Colortable showing MODIS fire pixels. Bright yellow shows areas that are more intense and have a larger area that is actively burning, flaming and/or smoldering.

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  320 x 90           PNG       11 KB



Colortable showing MODIS 16 day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).
   Colortable showing MODIS 16 day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

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  320 x 90           PNG       13 KB


January 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies  1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    January 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     20 MB


February 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    February 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     20 MB


March 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    March 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     20 MB


April 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    April 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     20 MB


May 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    May 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     19 MB


June 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    June 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     19 MB


July 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    July 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     19 MB


August 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    August 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     19 MB


September 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    September 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

Available formats:
  5760 x 3240     TIFF     20 MB


October 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.    October 2012 Cumulative active fires detected by Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) fire and termal anomalies 1 kilometer product, mcd14ml.

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  5760 x 3240     TIFF     20 MB


The cumulative fires of 2012 from January 1 through Oct 31, 2012.    The cumulative fires of 2012 from January 1 through Oct 31, 2012.

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  5760 x 3420     TIFF     22 MB
  1920 x 1080     TIFF       2 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?4011
Animation Number:4011
Completed:2012-11-21
Animator:Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC) (Lead)
Producer:Jefferson Beck (USRA)
Scientists:Louis Giglio (SSAI)
 Chris Justice (University of Maryland)
 Doug C. Morton (NASA/GSFC)
Project Support:Adam P. Voiland (Sigma Space Corporation)
Writer:Patrick Lynch (Wyle Information Systems)
Platforms/Sensors/Data Sets:Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Fire Location
 Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Pixel Reliability (value=2)
Series:Fires
 Multisensor Fire Observations
 MODIS Daily Snow
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
 
Keywords:
DLESE >> Biology
DLESE >> Ecology
SVS >> Fire Management
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Fire Characteristics
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Fire Occurrence
SVS >> 2013 Fires
Science paper:American GeoPhysical Union (2012, December 5). Press Conference: Fire in a Changing Climate and What We Can Do About It.

American Geophysical Union (2012, December 5) Press Conference Slides: Fire in a Changing Climate and What We Can Do About It (PDF).

Giglio, L., J. Descloitres, C.O. Justice, and Y. J. Kaufman. 2003. An Enhanced contectual fire detection algorithm for MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environemt, 87:273-282.

 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These 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 8.0.0.0.0

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