Real-time fire map: new NASA tool

Every summer, wildfires become a constant concern. They can be caused by accidental sparks, flashes, carelessness or even intentional human actions. These devastating fires are destroying hundreds of acres and have irreparable consequences for both the environment and the communities living in the affected areas.

In recent weeks we have observed a worrying increase in forest fires in several regions of Spain due to the progressive rise in temperature. Unfortunately, this situation has spread to other Mediterranean countries, where in July 40 people died from these devastating uncontrolled fires.

Since the summer is still half over and a new heat wave is to be expected, the number of fires is likely to increase significantly. NASA created a map that makes it easy to spot hotspots in real time. This is of great importance in order to be able to quickly identify areas where the temperature is rising significantly.

Fire map in real time

The Fire Information System for Resource Management (FIRMS) developed by NASA is a tool that allows the display of real-time data on active fires. Thanks to satellite observations, the system can obtain up-to-date information from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and the visible infrared imaging radiometer suite (VIIRS).

This US government agency tool is responsible for monitoring temperature variations in different regions of the planet. It is important to note that not all of these anomalies are necessarily due to wildfires, but can also be caused by high temperatures, intensive agricultural practices, or volcanic activity.

How to use FIRMS

The FIRMS platform offers the possibility to access up-to-date information, including data from the last 24 hours and also from the last week. In its graphical user interface, each red square represents a detected focus, corresponding to an area of ​​one square kilometer in the case of the data obtained from MODIS and 375 square meters in the case of the data provided by VIIRS, as indicated on the website.

Clicking on a red dot shows which system collected the data, the longitude and latitude of the location, and when this information was collected. This system not only shows the brightness detected by the satellite, but also provides information about the reliability of this detection. In addition, it has a wide range of levels to filter the information according to your needs and a history that allows you to go back up to a month to retrieve previous data.

With information from

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