ArcGIS Living Atlas

Where is the fire?

Years of drought and soaring temperatures have made much of Western North America a tinderbox. As expected, fire season has come upon us strongly and suddenly. How can we keep up with the rapid spread of these devastating fires?

A new fire map assembles the most important and timely information available about these devastating fires, mashing up satellite fire detections, fire perimeters, and a smoke forecast.

Fire Map

Fire detections in this map come from two sources, the MODIS satellites with 1km resolution, and the Suomi NPP VIIRS satellite with 375m resolution. The MODIS satellite service may be found in the Living Atlas, detections are updated once or twice daily. The VIIRS satellite provides 7 times the density of information due to its higher resolution, and at this time they are only a WMS service. That means the VIIRS detections appear only as small red dots, with no information in the popup window when you click on the points.

Also of interest to North Americans is the National Weather Service Smoke Forecast, updated every 24 hours. The NDGD smoke forecast plays as an animation inside the map. Watch the time indicator at the bottom of the map, it shows future local time as forecasted particulate levels are displayed.

About the author

Michael Dangermond has over 25 years experience in GIS in such diverse fields as cartography, agriculture, international boundary delineation, environmental protection, regional planning, park planning, land and wildlife conservation, and forestry. He has been working for ESRI since 2010.


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