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MODIS-Detected Fires in NFIRS

The U.S. Fire Administration Analysis

Matching a Broader Base of More Precisely Located NFIRS Fires to MODIS Observations Within 1 Kilometer and 24 Hours at the National Level

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MODIS Incidents in Selected Federal Lands

Nearly all MODIS incidents have no counterpart in NFIRS. One explanation for this may be that many MODIS incidents are fires on state or federal lands and the responding departments are not NFIRS reporters.

We did not compare MODIS incidents to all public land, but we were able to determine which MODIS incidents occurred in national parks, or in national forests, grasslands and wilderness areas. Overall (Table 8), 37% of MODIS observations occurred in these federal areas. This number only represents 6.4% of MODIS incidents, which suggests that these incidents were large-scale fires and each incident may have been identified separately with multiple satellite observations.

Table 8: MODIS Observations and Incidents in Selected Federal Lands

 ParksForestsGrasslandsWildernessOverall
Observations3,54455,67612024,20859,755
Incidents2654,585141,6344,931

However, a small number of MODIS observations and incidents in these selected federal lands do match an NFIRS incident. These matches were reported for 20 MODIS incidents (74 observations) by 24 different fire departments (Table 9).

Table 9: MODIS Observations and Incidents in Selected Federal Lands with NFIRS Matches

 ParksForestsGrasslandsWildernessOverall
Observations3710074
Incidents1190120