Active Fires (1 month - Terra/MODIS)

Active Fires (1 month - Terra/MODIS) | NASA

Dataset you are currently viewing:

Select Year 

About this dataset

Fire is a recurring part of nature. Wildfires can be caused by lightning striking a forest canopy or, in a few isolated cases, by lava or hot rocks ejected from erupting volcanoes. Most fires worldwide are started by humans, sometimes accidentally and sometimes on purpose. Not all fires are bad. Fire clears away dead and dying underbrush, which can help restore forest ecosystems to good health. Humans use fire as a tool in slash-and-burn agriculture to speed up the process of breaking down unwanted vegetation into the soil. Humans also use fire to clear away old-growth forests to make room for living spaces, roads, and fields for raising crops and cattle. But not all fires are good. Wildfires can destroy natural resources and human structures. Globally, fire plays a major role in Earth's carbon cycle by releasing carbon into the air, and by consuming trees that would otherwise absorb carbon from the air during photosynthesis. These maps show the locations of actively burning fires around the world, detected by instruments aboard NASA satellites.

Currently viewing:

May 2024

Downloads info

File Type:
1.0 degrees 360 x 180 download
0.5 degrees 720 x 360 download
0.25 degrees 1440 x 720 download
0.1 degrees 3600 x 1800 download
CSV for Excel older than 2007 download

What do the colors mean?

The red, orange, and yellow pixels on these maps show the locations where the MODIS instrument detects actively burning fires. Don't be fooled by sizes of some of the bright splotches on these maps. The colors represent a count of the number of fires observed within a 1,000-square-kilometer area. White pixels show the high end of the count — as many as 30 fires in a 1,000-square-kilometer area per day. Orange pixels show as many as 10 fires while red areas show as few as 1 fire in a 1,000-square-kilometer area per day.

Get Data

  1. Visit the data product page at the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).
  2. Select Access Data and download from one of the listed data access tools. You will need to create or sign-in to your Earthdata account.

Related Websites

MODIS on Earthdata



Further Reading


Fires in the Southeast Amazon

Building a Long Term Record of Fire

Uptick in Amazon Fire Activity in 2019

A Fiery Month in Zulia

ATBD (Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document)

MODIS Fire Products


Imagery produced by the NASA Earth Observations team using data courtesy the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC).

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for Active Fires (1 month - Terra/MODIS)

Quick Tip

View another tip

Contact Us

Need to get a hold of someone at NEO? Just fill out the form below.

Trouble with this form? Submit your comment here.