In collaboration with NASA's IMPACT project, dynamic false color imagery is now available through FIRMS to help better delineate burned areas.
A screenshot from FIRMS US/Canada displaying the Sentinel-2 Adjusted Reflectance Harmonized Landsat Sentinel (HLS) using bands 12-8a-4. It shows the Hermits Peak Fire in New Mexico, USA as captured on 3 May 2022. In this image, the burned areas appear in brick red and are overlain with active fire pixels from MODIS and VIIRS. (Link to view in FIRMS)
FIRMS has recently integrated an additional Harmonized Landsat/Sentinel-2 (HLS) Imagery product. The Reflectance (Bands 7-5-4) layer from Landsat 8/OLI and (Bands 12, 8a, 4) from Sentinel 2A and 2B are false color composite (FCC) images that allow us to visualize wavelengths that the human eye cannot see (i.e. short wave infrared and near infrared). Burned areas appear almost brick red making it easier to see fire affected areas and water is very dark, almost black, which makes it much easier to see lakes or flooded lands.
Unlike other satellite imagery layers in FIRMS, which are provided through NASA GIBS, the beta version HLS False Color Composite Imagery (Bands 7-5-4 for Landsat and Bands 12, 8a, 4 for Sentinel 2A and 2B), are provided dynamically through the NASA Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT), as such it may take slightly longer to display than the HLS True Color imagery through GIBS. HLS imagery is currently available approximately 2 -4 days after acquisition.
Steps to view the HLS FCC layers:
The HLS layers are only available in Advanced Mode (basic mode has reduced functionality to minimize the complexity of the interface).
• Go to https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/usfs/map/ or https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/map/
• Toggle the “Advanced Mode” button in the upper right .
• Toggle the “Historical” button in the upper right.
• The HLS Landsat and Sentinel 2 imagery are in the “Harmonized Landsat/Sentinel-2” grouping in the table of contents.
• Use the tools/prompts to access and view the imagery.
• Toggle on the True Color imagery first to get a good idea of where the FCC data can be expected on a given day.
Use the screenshot tool to create a GeoTIFF of the image to enable the image to be imported in to a GIS.
Some things to note:
• The HLS imagery is not near real-time data. It is currently available about 2 -4 days after acquisition.
• The reach back on this service goes back to March 15, 2022.
• As the FCC is dynamically generated, it may take slightly longer to display than the True Color imagery through GIBS. We are monitoring the performance of the HLS FCC imagery and welcome feedback.
• Zoom scale to display the false color composite data is currently set to 11 through 14, but true color can be viewed at smaller scales. The zoom level is indicated at the very end of the URL (e.g., 11z).
• Orbit tracks for Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2A and 2B are available as layers in the table of contents.
• Landsat 9 data is anticipated to be incorporated into the HLS product in late April. At that time, or soon thereafter, it will be part of the HLS service in FIRMS.
FIRMS recently added a location tool to enable users to easily find and save places of interest.
- Enter the location or coordinates to search in the "Find Location" tab, checking the box to "allow multiple location selection".
- Click on the "Current Location" to find out what location you are viewing.
- Any locations you store for future visits will be saved under the "Saved Locations" tab.
Get information and zoom to extent of wildland fires
The new FIRMS US/Canada fire map includes the location and details of wildland and prescribed fires. Locations of currently/recently active incidents larger than 100 acres (40.5 hectares) are displayed as fire icons when you open the US & Canada Fire Map. Click USA Active Fires and Canada Active Fires layers to toggle them off.
Click on a fire location to view the name, discovery date/time and current size of the fire. This information is routinely updated and maintained in systems of record managed by US and Canadian wildland fire management agencies. Clicking the View Situation Report link spawns a national situation report which may contain specific reporting information about the fire of interest. Additionally, by clicking the ZOOM TO LOCATION button, your map extent will automatically zoom to the extent of that fire.
Clicking on a fire location provides information about the fire and the option to zoom to the map extent of the selected fire.
Perimeters for current US wildland fires
For wildland fires currently occurring in the US larger than 100 acres in size, fire perimeters are provided for context. These data are typically compiled by federal, state and local fire management agencies on a routine basis during the life of an incident, however, they may not be available for all incidents. These data are typically updated daily from multiple sources and indicate the current extent of the fire and containment lines. Click on USA Fire Perimeter layer to display the fire perimeter data in the FIRMS US/Canada Fire Map.
When using perimeters in the context of satellite active fire detection data, this can indicate where a fire is active within the perimeter and if it is growing outside of it. Additionally, if the fire perimeter is not fully covered by cumulative active fire detections, gaps in that coverage may indicate where the fire has grown in between observations by polar-orbiting satellite sensors like MODIS and VIIRS, cloud cover at the time of satellite overpass occluded observations when the fire was actively burning, or fire activity was smaller and/or less intense at the time of satellite overpass or was not detectable under the vegetation canopy. Isolated active fire detection pixels outside of the perimeter can be indicative of detections occuring towards the edge of a swath which results geolocational errors due to the increasingly distorted field of view in the scan track direction, particularly for MODIS.
Visualization of MODIS and VIIRS active fire detection data in the context of a current perimeter for a wildland fire.