[Archived] Fires

Global VIIRS-derived active fire locations

  • Source: NASA

This dataset has been archived, and we will no longer be updating or maintaining it. We recommend using this dataset as a replacement.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) active fires data (VNP14IMGT) constitute the latest fire monitoring product to be added to FIRMS (Fire Information for Resource Management System), which identifies global fire locations in near-real time. Information is collected from the VIIRS sensor and processed with a fire detection algorithm to flag active fires. Each dot on the map represents the center of a 375 m pixel that has been flagged by the algorithm. The VIIRS data provides a higher resolution data set than the active fires data from MODIS. The VIIRS data have higher spatial resolution (375 m pixels vs. 1 km pixels), which improves detection of smaller fires and provides a more reliable estimate of fire perimeters. The VIIRS data are also better calibrated to detect fires at night. The active fires data are available to view and download for the past 24 hours, 48 hours, or 7 days. Older fire data will be available for download from the NASA FIRMS website beginning in mid-2016. Each fire alert has a confidence value of low, nominal, or high to help users gauge the quality of individual hotspot /fire pixels. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) I-Band 375 m Active Fire Data


Not all fires are detected. There are several reasons why VIIRS may not have detected a certain fire. The fire may have started and ended between satellite overpasses. The fire may have been too small or too cool to be detected in the 375 m pixel. Cloud cover, heavy smoke, or tree canopy may completely obscure a fire. It is not recommended to use active fire locations to estimate burned area due to spatial and temporal sampling issues. When zoomed out, this data layer displays some degree of inaccuracy because the data points must be collapsed to be visible on a larger scale. Zoom in for greater detail.

Suggested citation

NASA FIRMS. “VIIRS Active Fires.” https://earthdata.nasa.gov/earth-observation-data/near-real-time/firms/active-fire-data. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date). www.resourcewatch.org.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Geographic coverage


Spatial resolution

375 m

Date of content


Frequency of updates

Twice daily


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