Current National Fire Detections

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This page contains Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) fire detection maps and summary information by various fire-related geographic themes for the last 12-hour period (all specified times are Mountain Time). Tabular summary information includes fire detection locations within the area defined by the continental United States including a 50-kilometer buffer. The fire locations are produced using imagery collected by MODIS on board both the EOS Terra and Aqua satellite platforms.

Identification of an area as "fire" does not necessarily mean that the entire area represented by the dot is on fire. The identification of a fire can be the result of a hot fire in a relatively small area, or a cooler fire over a larger area. At this time, there is no way to discriminate between these two possibilities.

Forecasted Fire Danger Key Definitions

Low - Fuels do not ignite readily from small firebrands although a more intense heat source, such as lightning, may start fires in duff or punky wood. Fires in open cured grasslands may burn freely a few hours after rain, but woods fires spread slowly by creeping or smoldering, and burn in irregular fingers. There is little danger of spotting.

Moderate - Fires can start from most accidental causes, but with the exception of lightning fires in some areas, the number of starts in generally low. Fires in open cured grasslands will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days. Timber fires spread slowly to moderately fast. The average fire is of moderate intensity, although heavy concentrations of fuel, especially draped fuel, may burn hot. Short-distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy.

High - All fine dead fuels ignite readily and fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape. Fires spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. High-intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuels. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small.

Very High - Fires start easily from all causes and, immediately after ignition, spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. Spot fires are constant danger. Fires burning in light fuels may quickly develop high intensity characteristics such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds when they burn into heavier fuels.

Extreme - Fire start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in the very high fire danger class. Direct attack is rarely possible and may be dangerous except immediately after ignition. Fires that develop headway in heavy slash or in conifer stands may be unmanageable while the extreme burning condition lasts. Under these conditions the only effective and safe control action is on the flanks until the weather changes or the fuel supply lessens.

National Fire Detections - Summary Information
Date Time
Fire Danger County State Nearest Town Distance to Town
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These fire information products were compiled at the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Remote Sensing Applications Center in cooperation with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland, the National Interagency Fire Center, and the USFS Missoula Fire Sciences Lab.

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