Active Fire

Firecast automatically retrieves active fire data from various sources to generate customized alerts on a daily basis. NASA's Land Atmosphere Near Real-time Capability for Earth Observing Systems (LANCE) processes thermal and mid-infrared data from the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument on board NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites to generate a near real-time thermal anomaly product (Giglio et al., 2003). Due to their alternating flight paths, the Aqua and Terra satellites permit four fire observations in a 24-hour period. The MODIS thermal anomalies product indicates one or more active fires within a 1km² area on the ground. The NRT detections of active fires from the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite) sensor are retrieved from LANCE as well. The VIIRS satellite provides two observations in a 24-hour period with a day-time over pass around 13:30. This afternoon overpass, similar to Aqua, coincides with the timing for peak fire activity in the tropics. The VIIRS active fire data provided by AFIS are an experimental data product with a spatial resolution of 375m2, thus potentially detecting smaller fires with higher geolocation accuracy (Schroeder et al., 2014). Near real-time delivery of active fire detections support activities such as active fire suppression, community education and outreach, and policing of illegal activities.
Active Fire
Fires in Madagascar on October 19th, 2008.
Images from NASA's Aqua satellite show detected active fires (in red) and smoke plumes.
© NASA's MODIS Rapid Response Team

Forest Disturbances

High resolution "Quarterly Indicator of Cover Change" (QUICC) is available for Madagascar and Peru. QUICC (Potter, 2014; Potter et al., 2005; Potter et al., 2003) is a MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) product developed by the Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA) ecosystem modeling team in NASA Ames Research Center. Each forest disturbance represents the center of a 250m pixel flagged as an area that has lost at least 40% of their green vegetation cover over the past year. QUICC compares MODIS global vegetation index images at the exact same time period each year (September-October) in consecutive years to indicate potential deforestation and forest degradation.

More information on QUICC can be found at http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sge/casa/latest.html.
Active Fire
QUICC forest disturbances Ucayali, Peru, 2014-2015.

Fire Risk

CI, in collaboration with the University of Maryland and NASA, has developed a model of forest flammability (Steininger et al. 2013). This model has recently been expanded and enhanced through our partnership with World Resources Institutes’ Global Forest Watch Fires. We use satellite-derived parameters from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) and MODIS instruments as inputs into empirical model equations from the U.S. Forest Service's National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) to estimate moisture content of dead fuels on the forest floor. The model simulates moisture exchange between the fuels and surrounding air based on the current day and previous day's conditions.
Fire Risk
The fire risk index is an average of moisture content of medium to large dead fuels on the forest floor. Values range from 0-100% where below 20% is the indicator for dry conditions and below 15% indicates high susceptibility to fire.

Fire Season Severity

The fire season severity forecasts are modeled from the empirical relationship between sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Atlantic and Pacific and fire incidences across South America (Chen et al. 2011). These forecasts indicate the expected intensity of fire activity due to climatic conditions during the upcoming 2013 dry season. Fire Season Severity Alerts for the upcoming dry season (typically July-October) are provided by NASA and updated monthly from November through June. Knowing the potential fire season severity in advance of the dry season is extremely useful for fire management and prevention, protected areas management, and sustainable land use planning. For more information about these forecasts please see NASA's web pages.
Fire Season Severity
The radial dial above shows the 2013 Fire Season Severity forecast for Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The model forecasts are considerably higher than the conditions in 2011 and 2012.