How Do You Find a Map of Current Burning Fires From the U.S. Forest Service?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Forest service web site provides several satellite maps of current burning fires for the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. The USFS provides additional maps of fires in Canada with information obtained from Canadian natural resource management organizations.

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Full Answer

The primary USFS fire map displays the locations of large incidents and the type of management team addressing the incident. A large incident is defined as a wildfire occurring in 100 acres or more in timber or 300 acres or more in grassland. The map is updated every Friday or more frequently in special situations.

Each fire on the map is indicated with an icon comprising a number and a color code. The numerals correspond with the list of names for each large incident displayed on the map. The color codes indicate the type of management team assigned to the fire and consequently, the severity of the fire. For example, a red icon indicates that a Type 1 Incident Management Team is managing the fire. Type 1 teams are assigned to the most complex situations and utilize multiple agencies, national resources and large numbers of personnel and equipment.

The USFS also provides fire detection maps for subdivided regions of North America. The maps display the areas in which satellite equipment has detected fires. Fires detected since Jan. 1, 2015 are indicated in yellow. Fires detected within the last 24, 12 and six hours are indicated in orange, red and auburn.

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