Tolhuaca National Park
Nov 13, 2018Looking at Burn Severity and Post-Fire Forest Regeneration in Chile’s Andean Cordillera, Home to the Monkey Puzzle Tree

The first study that connects field-measured data with satellite-derived burn severity in this corner of the world.

Large fire burn scar in Yellowstone after 1988 fires
Aug 20, 2018Landsat Sees 30 Years of Yellowstone Recovery from 1988 Fires

A combination of lightning, drought and human activity caused fires to scorch more than one-third of Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1988.

results of mega fire
Jul 25, 2018Fires, Floods and Satellite Views: Modeling the Boreal Forest’s Future

The 2014 megafires in Canada’s Northwest Territories burned 7 million acres of forest, making it one of the most severe fire events in Canadian history.

Komodo Mangroves
Dec 14, 2016A New Fire Risk Indicator

A new indicator of fire risk for peat moss environments that relys on Landsat 8’s new blue band.

Gilles Creek Fire
Dec 12, 2016How Fire Severity Impacts Soil Microbes

Finding out how fire severity affects soil microbes.

Lake Fire
Sep 28, 2015Landsat Enables Seasonal Fuel Dynamic Estimations for Southwest U.S.

By incorporating seasonal variability of herbaceous cover and biomass in the Southwest U.S., fine fuel loading can be measured. The measurements are then used to capture changes to fire behavior fuel models based on the current fire season.

fire approaching King River
Sep 28, 2015LANDFIRE Innovation for Landsat Image Compositing

The LANDFIRE program produces annual fire disturbance maps for the conterminous U.S. Recently, the program developed an image tiling and compositing process to aid in vegetation change mapping.

Forester showing pine beetle damage
Aug 19, 2015Improved Forest Disturbance Monitoring via an Algorithm Ensemble

Forest resource managers, natural resource policy makers, and global change scientists need comprehensive, consistent, and up-to-date information on trends in forest cover and condition. This information is essential for understanding carbon budgets, predicting fire behavior, quantifying biodiversity, and hydrologic modeling.

ISU team in the field
Aug 7, 2015A Landsat-based Tool to Track Cheatgrass, Monitor Potential Wildfire Hazard

Landsat 8 imagery is being used to identify increased wildfire susceptibility due to the invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands.

Landsat scenes used by LANDFIRE
Dec 2, 201444,000 Landsat Scenes and Counting

LANDFIRE National used approximately 5,340 Landsat scenes to map CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii. Landfire continues to rely on Landsat imagery for updates. There were 13,185 scenes processed from 1984-2009 to capture landscape change for CONUS for the LANDFIRE 2008 update (representing change 1999-2008). Additional years are included because the algorithm used to identify change needed a longer time horizon.

Burned area in Denali National Park
May 27, 2014Landsat 8 Helps Map Fires during Long, Busy Alaska Fire Season

Lighting ignited the Castle Rocks fire in the deep backcountry of Denali National Park and Preserve in early July, 2013. Over the next two months, the Castle Rocks fire would fluctuate between periods of activity and inactivity depending on changing weather conditions, eventually burning more than 12,900 acres by the time it was declared out on September 4, 2013. Remote even by Alaska standards, the Castle Rocks fire plotted approximately 100 miles to the west of Denali park headquarters and 160 miles southwest of Fairbanks.

Landsat 8 image of Rim Fire
Nov 7, 2013Wildfire Science Returns to Rim Fire

Although dousing the flames was foremost in people’s minds during the recent Rim Fire in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park, U.S. Geological Survey scientific work continues well after the fire is out. USGS scientists are continuing their critical research characterizing the hidden dangers faced after large wildfires.

Child looking at Landsat image
Sep 27, 2013Mapping the World with Landsat

Speeding around the Earth at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), two Landsat satellites are quietly, expertly watching and recording changes in Earth’s lands from space. They are gathering data for people to make maps–all kinds of wonderful maps–of our cities growing, rivers flooding, lava flowing from volcanic eruptions, forests expanding or shrinking, crops greening through the growing season, and even of evidence of pollution.

Location of Rim Fire
Sep 3, 2013Landsat 8 Satellite Sees Rim Fire from Space

Two recent images from the Landsat 8 satellite compare land conditions in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park before and during the Rim Fire. The images, from August 15 before the fire began and from August 31, can be contrasted and downloaded from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

Burn severity map for Wallow Fire
Aug 29, 2013Landsat Revisits Old Flames in Fire Trends

The Wallow Fire burned over 500,000 acres, making it the largest fire in Arizona history, to date. It is one of many large fires that fire managers and researchers have seen scorch forests nationwide since the early 2000s.

BAER soil scientist
Aug 21, 2013After a Fire, Before a Flood

While the 138,000-acre Silver Fire still smoldered, forest restoration specialists were on the job. They analyzed maps created using Landsat satellite data to determine where the burn destroyed vegetation and exposed soil—and where to focus emergency restoration efforts.

Burning structure in Black Forest fire
Aug 9, 2013NASA ‘Fire Towers’ in Space Watch for Wildfires

The Black Forest wildfire this June was one of the most destructive in Colorado history, in terms of homes lost. It started close to houses and quickly spread through the ponderosa pine canopies on the rolling hills near Colorado Springs. The wildfire destroyed 500 homes in the first 48 hours and killed two people.

Burning fields in Indonesia
Jul 30, 2013Using Landsat 8 to Locate Fires in Indonesia

In June, air pollution over Singapore and Malaysia spiked as forests in neighboring Sumatra (Indonesia) burned. Using NASA’s daily fire alerts and official national maps, the fires were located in the vicinity of oil palm and acacia tree plantations. However, the coarse resolution of the fire alerts coupled with outdated national maps, made it hard to establish culpability.

May 9, 2013Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

May 9, 2013 • Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official Google Blog. Using its Earth Engine technology, Google has compiled decades of Landsat images into a new, interactive time-lapse […]

Dec 4, 2012Climate Models Project Increase in U.S. Wildfire Risk

Dec 4, 2012 • Scientists using NASA satellite data and climate models have projected drier conditions likely will cause increased fire activity across the United States in coming decades. Other findings about U.S. wildfires, including their amount of carbon emissions and how the length and strength of fire seasons are expected to change under future […]