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MODIS Collection 5 Active Fire Product User’s Guide, v2.5 (Updated 31 March 2013)

Who do I acknowledge if I use data from FIRMS?

The data and graphics from FIRMS can be used freely. Please use the following acknowledgement:

We acknowledge the use of FIRMS data and imagery from the Land Atmosphere Near-real time Capability for EOS (LANCE) system operated by the NASA/GSFC/Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) with funding provided by NASA/HQ.

Please read the About FIRMS page, Acknowledgement page and the Disclaimer for more information about using FIRMS and LANCE data.

What caveats should be considered when using active fire data from FIRMS?

About MODIS and MODIS Active Fire Data

What is MODIS?

MODIS stands for MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. The MODIS instrument is on board NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. The orbit of the Terra satellite goes from north to south across the equator in the morning with a 10:30am and 10:30pm equatorial overpass and Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon with a 1:30pm and 1:30am equatorial overpass resulting in global coverage every 1 to 2 days. The EOS satellites have a ±55 degree scanning pattern and orbit at 705 km with a 2,330 km swath width. For an artist’s visualization of how “MODIS Scans the Globe”, please visit Aqua Project Science – About MODIS.

The MODIS instrument provides 36 spectral bands from wavelengths of 0.4µm to 14.4µm.

Terra (EOS AM) was launched 18 December 1999 and Aqua (EOS PM) was launched 4 May 2002. High quality active fire observations are available from the Terra satellite starting November 2000 and from the Aqua satellite starting 4 July 2002 onwards.

When will the satellite pass over my area?

The MODIS instruments on board the Terra and Aqua EOS satellites acquire data continuously providing global coverage every 1-2 days. As polar-orbiting spacecraft, Terra and Aqua are synchronized with the sun, in order to pass over the same area at the same time every day. The satellites will orbit the Earth once every 99 minutes at an inclination of 98 degrees relative to the equator, at a mean altitude of 438 nautical miles (705 kilometers).

Terra’s descending orbit (N-S) will cross the equator at 10:30 a.m. local time during each orbit—hence the original term “AM” in its formal name (EOS AM-1). Clouds typically form over tropical land in the afternoon as the surface warms, creating updrafts; hence, Terra’s morning view will provide clearer images of the Earth’s lands. Terra also passes over the equator at 10:30pm. Aqua (EOS PM-1) has a “PM” equatorial crossing time in an ascending orbit with a 1:30 p.m. equatorial crossing time, thus complementing and extending the temporal resolution of the MODIS sensor. Aqua also passes over the equator at 1:30am.

For most parts of the Earth’s equator, therefore, there are 4 overpasses in a 24 hour period (2 for Aqua and 2 for Terra – [Descending and ascending]). As the orbits of both satellites “overlap” at the poles, there is more coverage per given area the further north or south the area is from the equator. The precise number and timing of overpasses depends therefore on your geographic location.

Daily Terra and Aqua global and regional orbit tracks are provided by the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at University of Wisconsin-Madison:

The maps show a series of white lines with tic marks showing what time the satellite will pass over a certain location on the Earth. The white lines represent the center of the swath and the tic marks and time show at what time in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) the satellite will pass over that location. For more information about orbital tracks, please see the Rapid Response FAQs “What do the orbit track maps show?” and “How can I tell when MODIS will capture an image of my area?“.

For an artist’s visualization of how “MODIS Scans the Globe”, please visit Aqua Project Science – About MODIS.

If you wish to view the MODIS swath image that corresponds to the active fire detections, please go to Worldview.

How often are active fire data acquired?

The MODIS instrument on board the Terra and Aqua EOS satellites acquire data continuously providing global coverage every 1-2 days. Terra (EOS AM) passes over the equator at approximately 10:30 am and 10:30 pm each day, Aqua (EOS PM) satellite passes over the equator at approximately 1:30 pm and 1:30 am. There are at least 4 daily MODIS observations for almost every area on the equator, with the number of overpasses increasing (due to overlapping orbits) closer to the poles. See: “When will the satellite pass over my area?”.

LANCE data are available in Near Real Time (NRT), 3 hours or less after observation.

What is a MODIS active fire detection?

A MODIS active fire detection represents the center of a 1km (approx.) pixel flagged as containing one or more actively burning hotspots/fires. The fires are detected using data from the MODIS instrument, on board NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites. The satellites take a ‘snapshot’ of events as it passes over the earth. In most cases, MODIS fires are vegetation fires, but sometimes it is a volcanic eruption or the flare from a gas well. There is no way of knowing which type of thermal anomaly is detected based on the MODIS data alone.

How are fires detected by the satellite?

The active fire detections are processed by LANCE using the same algorithm as the standard MODIS MOD14/MYD14 Fire and Thermal Anomalies product. Fire detection is performed using a contextual algorithm that exploits the strong emission of mid-infrared radiation from fires. The algorithm examines each pixel of the MODIS swath, and ultimately assigns to each one of the following classes: missing data, cloud, water, non-fire, fire, or unknown. More information can be found in: Giglio, L., Descloitres, J., Justice, C. O. and Kaufman, Y. 2003. An enhanced contextual fire detection algorithm for MODIS. Remote Sensing of Environment 87:273-282. doi: 10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00184-6

What does a MODIS hotspot/active fire detection mean on the ground?

Each hotspot/active fire detection represents the center of a 1km (approx.) pixel flagged as containing one or more fires, or other thermal anomalies (such as volcanoes). The “location” is the center point of the pixel (not necessarily the coordinates of the actual fire). The actual pixel size varies with the scan and track (see: “What does scan and track mean?”). The fire is often less than 1km in size (see: “What size fires can be detected?”). We are not able to determine the exact fire size, what we do know is that at least one fire is located within that 1km pixel. Sometimes you will see several active fires in a line. This generally represents a fire front.

Example of what fire detection means on the ground.

 

What size fires can be detected?

In any given scene the minimum detectable fire size is a function of many different variables (scan angle, biome, sun position, land surface temperature, cloud cover, amount of smoke and wind direction, etc.), so the precise value will vary slightly with these conditions. MODIS routinely detects both flaming and smoldering fires 1000 m2 in size. Under very good observing conditions (e.g. near nadir, little or no smoke, relatively homogeneous land surface, etc.) flaming fires one tenth this size can be detected. Under pristine (and extremely rare) observing conditions even smaller flaming fires 50 m2 can be detected. It is not recommended to estimate burned area from the active fire data, see: “Can I estimate burned area using the active fire data?”.

Unlike most contextual fire detection algorithms designed for satellite sensors that were never intended for fire monitoring (e.g. AVHRR, VIRS, ATSR), there is no upper limit to the largest and/or hottest fire that can be detected with MODIS.

Example of the day and night relationship of fire size and fire temperature.

 

The diagram shows the day and night relationship of fire size and fire temperature, in different biomes, to the probability of being detected by MODIS (Giglio et al. (2003)).

I only see fire data available for the last 7 days on your website. How can I get older data?

Data for the last 2 months can be downloaded as text (TXT) files and older data can be obtained through the MODIS Fire Archive Download Tool.

Factors that Affect Fire Detections

Why did MODIS not detect a particular fire?

There are several reasons why MODIS 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 1 km2 MODIS footprint. Cloud cover, heavy smoke, or tree canopy may completely obscure a fire. Occasionally the MODIS instruments are inoperable for extended periods of time (e.g. the Terra MODIS outage in September 2000) and can observe nothing during these times.

How do I know if a fire detection was missed due to cloud or missing data?

An indication of cloud cover or missing data is not yet included in FIRMS, however latest near real-time browse images can be viewed in Worldview. To take cloud and missing data in to account, it may be more appropriate to use one of the 1km Level 3 or CMG fire products (see: MODIS Fire user guide).

Why do you not see the same fire twice in subsequent overpasses?

This is due to the dynamic and diurnal patterns associated with fire. Fires move across the landscape at varying rates, depending on multiple factors including, for example, the underlying vegetation type and the specific characteristics of the fire, and therefore may be present in different locations when the satellites pass overhead. In addition, the inherent diurnal burn-up and die-down patterns of a fire can impact whether one can see the same fire twice.

Do cloud shadows affect fire detections?

Cloud shadows do not significantly affect fire detections.

Can MODIS detect fires below the forest canopy?

The likelihood of detecting a fire beneath the tree canopy is unknown, but likely to be very low. Understory fires are typically small, and with the tree canopy obstructing the view of the fire, detection will be very unlikely.

How does the view angle of the MODIS instrument affect fire detections?

The wider the view, the larger the pixel field of view (the ground space covered). As a result, you would need a proportionately larger fire area to achieve the same likelihood of detection at nadir for most algorithms. This necessity is incorporated into quality control reporting.

How does air temperature affect fire detection?

Differences in air temperature have a negligible effect on fire detection. Differences in surface temperature, however, have a much larger impact as warmer areas like sandbeds, rock outcrops, etc., can cause false positives. Filters incorporated into the algorithms attempt to correct for this.

Using FIRMS Active Fire Data

How appropriate are the 1km MODIS fire locations for my research?

The MODIS fire locations are good for determining the location of active fires, providing information on the spatial and temporal distribution of fires and comparing data between years. The 1km (approx.) MODIS active fire pixel locations may not always be the most appropriate source of fire related information. The data do not provide any information on cloud cover or missing data. Depending on the analysis you are performing, it is sometimes possible to derive misleading or even incorrect results by ignoring the other types of pixels. In some cases it is more appropriate to use one of the 1km Level 3 or CMG fire products. For more information, refer to the MODIS Collection 5 Active Fire Product User's Guide, v2.5 (Updated 31 March 2013).

What is the Climate Modeling Grid (CMG) fire product?

The CMG fire products are gridded statistical summaries of fire pixel information intended for use in regional and global modeling. The products are currently generated at 0.5 degree spatial resolution for time periods of one calendar month (MOD14CMH/MYD14CMH) and eight days (MOD14C8H/MYD14C8H). Higher resolution 0.25 degree CMG fire products will eventually be produced as well. More information can be found in the MODIS Collection 5 Active Fire Product User's Guide, v2.5 (Updated 31 March 2013).

Fire Pixel Locations vs. Gridded Fire Products

We urge caution in using fire pixel locations in lieu of the 1-km gridded MODIS fire products (CMG fire product). The former includes no information about cloud cover or missing data and, depending on the sort of analysis that is being performed; it is sometimes possible to derive misleading (or even incorrect) results by not accounting for these other types of pixels. It is also possible to grossly misuse fire pixel locations, even for regions and time periods in which cloud cover and missing observations are negligible.

Some caveats to keep in mind when using MODIS fire pixel locations:

  • The fire pixel location files allow users to temporally and spatially bin fire counts arbitrarily. However, severe temporal and spatial biases may arise in any MODIS fire time series analysis employing time intervals shorter than about eight days.
  • Known fires for which no entries occur in the fire-pixel location files are not necessarily missed by the detection algorithm. Cloud obscuration, a lack of coverage, or a misclassification in the land/sea mask may instead be responsible, but with only the information provided in the fire location files this will be impossible to determine.

Can I estimate burned area using the active fire data?

It is not recommended to use active fire locations to estimate burned area due to spatial and temporal sampling issues. Determining this to an acceptable degree of accuracy is generally not possible due to nontrivial spatial and temporal sampling issues. For some applications, however, acceptable accuracy can be achieved, although the effective area burned per fire pixel is not simply a constant, but rather varies with respect to several different vegetation and fire-related variables. See Giglio et al. (2006) for more information.

FIRMS provides monthly burned area images for visualization via Web Fire Mapper.

Please refer to the MODIS Active Fire & Burned Area Products web site for more information on the MODIS Burned Area Product and instructions on how download the monthly burned area HDF and GeoTIFF files.

What are the attributes/fields of the active fire data?

  • Latitude and Longitude: The center point location of the 1km (approx.) pixel flagged as containing one or more fires (fire size is not 1km, but variable). See: “What does a fire detection mean on the ground?”.
  • Brightness: The brightness temperature, measured (in Kelvin) using the MODIS channels 21/22 and channel 31.
  • Scan and Track: The actual spatial resolution of the scanned pixel. Although the algorithm works at 1km resolution, the MODIS pixels get bigger toward the edge of the scan. See: “What does scan and track mean?”.
  • Date: Acquisition date of the active fire pixel.
  • Time: Time of the overpass of the satellite (in UTC).
  • Satellite: Whether the detection was picked up by the Terra or Aqua satellite.
  • Confidence: The detection confidence is a quality flag of the individual active fire pixel.
  • Version: Version refers to the processing collection and source of data. The number before the decimal refers to the collection (e.g. MODIS Collection 5). The number after the decimal indicates the source of Level 1B data; data processed in near-real time by LANCE will have the source code “CollectionNumber.0”. Data sourced from MODAPS (with a 2 month lag) and processed by FIRMS using the standard MOD14/MYD14 Thermal Anomalies algorithm will have a source code “CollectionNumber.x”. For example, data with the version listed as 5.0 is collection 5, processed by MRR, data with the version listed as 5.1 is collection 5 data processed by FIRMS using Level 1B data from MODAPS. See: “What is the difference between data sourced from LANCE and MODAPS Collection 5?”.
  • Bright.T31: Channel 31 brightness temperature (in Kelvins) of the active fire pixel.
  • FRP: Fire Radiative Power. Depicts the pixel-integrated fire radiative power in MW (MegaWatts). FRP provides information on the measured radiant heat output of detected fires. The amount of radiant heat energy liberated per unit time (the Fire Radiative Power) is thought to be related to the rate at which fuel is being consumed (Wooster et al. (2005)).

What is the brightness temperature?

The brightness temperature of a fire pixel is measured (in Kelvins) using the MODIS channels 21/22 and channel 31. Brightness temperature is actually a measure of the photons at a particular wavelength received by the spacecraft, but presented in units of temperature.

What does scan and track mean?

The scan value represents the spatial-resolution in the East-West direction of the scan and the track value represents the North-South spatial resolution of the scan.

It should be noted that the pixel size is not always 1km across the scan track. The pixels at the “Eastern” and the “Western” edges of the scan are bigger than 1km. It is 1km only along the nadir (exact vertical from the satellite). Thus, the values shown for scan and track represent the actual spatial resolution of the scanned pixel.

What is the detection confidence?

A detection confidence is intended to help users gauge the quality of individual active fire pixels. This confidence estimate, which ranges between 0% and 100%, is used to assign one of the three fire classes (low-confidence fire, nominal-confidence fire, or high-confidence fire) to all fire pixels within the fire mask. The confidence field should be used with caution; it is likely that it will vary in meaning in different parts of the world. Nevertheless some of our end users have found such a field to be useful in excluding false positive occurrences of fire.

What are Collections?

Reprocessing of the entire MODIS data archive is periodically performed to incorporate better calibration, algorithm refinements, and improved upstream products into all MODIS products. The updated MODIS data archive resulting from each reprocessing is referred to as a collection. Later collections supersede all earlier collections. For Terra MODIS, Collection 1 consists of the first products generated following launch. Terra MODIS data were first reprocessed for the first time in June 2001 to produce Collection 3. Note that this first reprocessing was numbered Collection 3, rather than Collection 2, as one would expect. Collection 3 was also the first produced for the Aqua MODIS products. Collection 4 reprocessing was initiated in December 2002 for Terra MODIS, and somewhat later for the Aqua MODIS. Collection 5 began reprocessing in early 2007, and it forms the current archive of the MODIS products. Improvements in Collection 5 included adding the Fire Radiative Power value to the fire detections and refining the detection confidence to more accurately identify questionable active fire pixels. Collection 6 is scheduled to begin in 2011.

Are there any missing MODIS fire data?

Terra was launched 18 December 1999 and Aqua was launched 4 May 2002. High quality active fire observations are available from the Terra satellite starting November 2000 and from the Aqua satellite starting 4 July 2002 onwards.

In the Collection 5 fire data archive, there are several days where data was not collected and days with lower than usual fire counts due to reasons such as sensor outage. These include, but are not limited to: 15 April 2001, 15 June – 3 July 2001 and 19 – 28 March 2002.

Can you use the MODIS active fire product for detecting volcanoes or volcanic eruptions?

The algorithm routinely detects active volcanoes but the active fire product has not been validated against independent data for its ability to detect volcanoes. There is a separate near-real time MODIS product specifically for volcanoes: MODVOLC.

What validation of the MODIS active fire products has been performed?

Validation of the Terra MODIS Fire Product has primarily been performed using coincident observations from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER); see the MODIS Land Team Validation page, and publications by Csiszar et al. (2006) and two publications from Morisette et al. (2005) for details. A very brief discussion of the general validation procedure, with some preliminary results, can be found in the Justice et al. (2002) publication.

Where can I get more information on the MODIS Fire Products?

For more information on the active fire product and other MODIS fire products, please refer to the MODIS Active Fire & Burned Area Products web site and the MODIS Burned Area User Guide (Updated May 2013) and the MODIS Collection 5 Active Fire Product User's Guide, v2.5 (Updated 31 March 2013).

What other types of fire data are available?

AVHRR: Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer. AVHRR is a passive optical sensor that measures electromagnetic radiation (light reflected and heat emitted) from our planet. AVHRR was originally intended only as a meteorological satellite system but it does have applications for fire monitoring. AVHRR remotely senses cloud cover and sea surface temperature, enabling its visible and infrared detectors to observe trends in vegetation, clouds, shorelines, lakes, snow and ice. The visible bands can detect smoke plumes from fires as well as burn scars. The thermal infrared band can detect actual hotspots and active fires. Its ability to detect fires is greater at night, since the system can confuse active fires with heated ground surfaces, such as beach sand and asphalt.

Active fire mapping on a global scale using a single satellite system has been coordinated by the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) using AVHRR data for 1992-93 from international ground stations.

In addition, a small number of countries have developed their own regional AVHRR satellite fire monitoring systems using direct read-out; e.g., Brazil, Russia, and Senegal. Research groups have provided regional examples of trace gas and particulate emissions from fires for Brazil, Southern Africa and Alaska.

GOES: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) house a five-channel (one visible, four infrared) imaging radiometer designed to sense radiant and solar reflected energy from sample areas of the Earth. They are stationed in orbits that remain fixed over one spot on the equator, providing continuous coverage of one hemisphere. GOES satellites acquire images every 15–30 minutes, at up to 1km resolution in visible light, for the detection of smoke, and 4km resolution in thermal infrared to directly detect the heat of fires.

MSG SEVIRI: Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI)
The Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite houses the optical imaging radiometer called the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI). The sensor features 12 spectral channels and will provide cloud imaging and tracking, fog detection, measurement of the Earth surface and cloud top temperatures, tracking ozone patterns, as well as active fire monitoring.

The nominal coverage of the satellite includes the whole of Europe, all of Africa and locations at which the elevation to the satellite is greater than or equal to 10°. The various channels provide measurements with a resolution of 3 km at the sub-satellite point. The High Resolution Visible (HRV) channel provides measurements with a resolution of 1km.

The service, which commenced operations in January 2004, is due to continue until at least 2018.

What projection are the shapefiles in?

The shapefiles are in the Geograhpic WGS84 projection.

FIRMS Web Fire Mapper

Why can’t I open Web Fire Mapper in my browser?

If you are having trouble accessing Web Fire Mapper, your Internet Service Provider or organization may be blocking port 8080. Web Fire Mapper runs on port 8080 and blocking this port will effectively prevent the service from loading in your browser. Please contact your network administrator to remedy the situation. However, if you have determined that port 8080 is NOT blocked on your end, the WFM service may be experiencing technical interruptions. Please contact . and let us know about this issue.

When trying to access Web Fire Mapper, I get an error that reads “Service not available. Please try again”. What does this mean?

The “Service not available” message is displayed in the event there is an error with the internal workings (e.g. database) of the Web Fire Mapper system. Please wait for a few minutes and try to refresh the page (Ctrl + F5). If you still get the error, please contact .

What open source components are used in Web Fire Mapper?

The Web Fire Mapper was developed using Open Source web-GIS technologies, including UMN Mapserver, Google Web Toolkit, PHP and PostgreSQL with the spatial database add-on, PostGIS. The Servers utilized at the University of Maryland have Linux operating systems and Apache/Tomcat web-servers, making the entire system completely based on free and open source software.

Can I download the fire data from Web Fire Mapper?

Active fire data are not currently available for download via Web Fire Mapper. However, active fire locations are available for download for the last 24 hours, last 48 hours and last 7 days on the Active Fire Data page. Older data can be obtained through the Archive Download Tool.

Can I get information on burned areas from Web Fire Mapper?

FIRMS currently offers visualization of monthly burned area images in Web Fire Mapper. Please refer to the MODIS Active Fire & Burned Area Products web site for more information regarding the MODIS Burned Area Product.

What is the difference between FIRMS data sourced from LANCE and MODAPS Collection 5?

There are 3 key differences between data processed by LANCE and MODIS Data Processing System (MODAPS). The first is the time taken to process the data: data from LANCE are processed in near-real time (within 3 hours of satellite overpass), while FIRMS data from MODAPS will generally available after a two month lag. The second is the “quality assurance” of Level 1B data used to generate the fire product – data from MODAPS are quality checked, and sometimes reprocessed at a later date if some problems are found with specific granules (the reason for the 2 month lag in making the collection from MODAPS available via FIRMS is to allow for any reprocessing of granules before the fire product is generated). The third reason is that MODAPS Aqua data are processed with the definitive ephemeris downloaded from the satellite (this provides the actual location of the satellite, which in turn affects the geolocational accuracy of the MODIS granules). Aqua data processed by LANCE uses a predicted ephemeris (updated daily using definitive data). The difference in geolocations from the definitive and predicted is checked daily by the LANCE Rapid Response. The difference is usually in the range of 50-100m. In cases where it exceeds 400m (only happens during certain spacecraft maneuvers), affected data are reprocessed with the definitive data the next day. Users are encouraged to use MODAPS Collection 5 for any historical analysis.

Email Alerts

Can you notify me when a fire occurs in my area of interest?

We have developed a global fire email alert system to notify users when a fire occurs in, or near, a specified area of interest, country or protected area. You can subscribe to receive near-real time, daily or weekly email alerts in English, Spanish or French.

To subscribe, or learn more about the email based alert system, please see the FIRMS Email Alerts page.

Do you provide mobile/cell phone text messages?

No, we do not currently provide SMS text messages. In the past, we helped develop such a service in collaboration with ESKOM and CSIR Meraka in South Africa for the protection of power lines in remote areas from wildfires informing operators in the field about fire events in near-real time. For more information see: Davies, D. K., H. F. Vosloo, et al. (2008). Near real-time fire alert system in South Africa: from desktop to mobile service http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1394445.1394479 Proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on Designing interactive systems Cape Town, South Africa ACM: 315-322

What are the near-real time email alerts?

The near-real time alerts provide fire locations of fires that have occurred in your area within 3 hours of satellite overpass. They are subscribed to and managed by the user just the same way as the daily and weekly detection summaries.

How do I subscribe or edit email alerts?

Go to the FIRMS Email Alerts page.

  1. Enter the email address where you want to receive the email alerts and click “Proceed”.
  2. If you have not yet subscribed you will be asked to enter your Name, Organization, and Country. Click on “Save” after you have entered your information.
  3. You will be taken to the subscription summary page, where the user can create a new subscription or view existing subscriptions. The user can create several subscriptions, and they will be added to their subscription summary profile.
  4. Click on the “Create a New Subscription” link to take the user to the interface to subscribe to an email alert.
    Creating a new subscription:
    • Choose your area of interest: The user can choose to select an area from a map (by defining a rectangular area), from a country drop down list or a drop down list of protected areas.
    • Customize your email alert by changing your subscription preferences:
      1. Name your alert (optional): The user can choose to give your alert a name for you to easily reference.
      2. Output map size: The user may choose to receive a map in the email and different sized maps are available.
      3. Background image: This refers to the background image on which the fires will be overlaid in the map in the email.
      4. Language preference: English, Spanish and French.
      5. Alert type: Daily, Weekly or Near-Real Time.
        • Daily: Fire detections are sent in a summary email every morning EDT (USA) with fire detections from the previous 24 hours.
        • Weekly: A week’s worth of fire points detected for the specified area are sent to the user on Monday mornings EDT (USA).
        • Near-real time: The fire points are sent out in an email as soon as they are processed by LANCE (within 3 hours of satellite overpass). The number of email varies depending on whether or not there was a fire in the specified area, whether or not it was detected, and the geographical location of the area (there are more frequent overpasses at high latitudes, and 4 daily overpasses for most places on the equator).
    • Email preferences: The user can choose to receive an email with a map and text, or text only.
    • Attach .CSV file: By default this option is flagged, meaning that the subscriber will also receive a CSV file containing the fire location information.
    • Help with subscription preferences: Clicking on the hyperlinked text of the subscription preferences will open pop-up messages containing the description and usage of the preference.
    • Email confirmation and final subscription: The user can choose not to receive an email confirming that he/she has subscribed successfully to an alert. The final signoff is completed by clicking either “Save Subscription” or “Cancel” (deletes all selections).
    • Subscription confirmations: The successful subscription is identified by two steps, the first of which is the confirmation page and a confirmation email (if this was selected). The confirmation page provides a link to let you return to the ‘Add, view or edit your subscription’ page.

I requested a map image with my email alert but I can’t see the map in my email alert, where is it?

Please check the settings in your email client. Your email client may be blocking images from being displayed in your email as a security measure. You will have to enable the choice to view images in your email. Your email client may also be sending the email alert to your spam/junk folder as a security measure and it is likely that you will also not be able to view the map image if the email is in your spam/junk folder. You should add the FIRMS email address and/or email domain to the safe senders list, so it will deliver the email to your inbox and display images. You can also view the map by clicking on the link below the map image “View Map Image on FIRMS server”; this will open the map in your browser.

I have received a CSV file as part of my Email Alert, how do I add it as a layer in a Desktop GIS software?

A CSV or Comma Separated Value file, is a text file in which separate fields are delimited by commas. This type of file can be used to store simple tabular data efficiently, minimizing file size. CSV files are easily opened with DB administration software such as PostgreSQL or MS Access, or by spreadsheet software such as MS Excel. This type of file can also be used to easily plot point data on desktop GIS software, given, as the active fire data does, that the tabular data contains X and Y coordinate information. The active fire data contains latitude and longitude location coordinates and the attributes of the detected fires. For instructions on how to use CSV files in a desktop GIS please see the Email Alerts.