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Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch

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Wildland Fire Detection using Satellite Imagery


John Weaver

Dan Bikos

Dan Lindsey

Dan Leszcynski



Archived Training






  • To review the fire weather forecast
    • Requirements of the fire weather forecasts, watches and warnings
    • Tools for performing the job
    • Unique aspects of the red flag warning
  • To learn new techniques for wildland fire detection
    • Observation and reporting by spotters / public
    • Value added to wildland fire detection using satellite image data – especially RSO
  • To work through case studies of wildland fire detection using GOES satellite imagery

Training Session Options

NOAA/NWS students – to begin the training, use the web-based video, YouTube video, or audio playback options below (if present for this session). Certificates of completion for NOAA/NWS employees can be obtained by accessing the session via the Commerce Learn Center

  1. Audio playback (recommended for low-bandwidth users) – This is an audio playback version in the form of a downloadable VISITview and can be taken at anytime.

    Create a directory to download the audio playback file (86 MB) from the following link:

    After extracting the files into that directory click on either the visitplay.bat or visitauto.bat file to start the lesson. If both files are present, use visitauto.bat

References/Additional Links

  • Talking points are available for this lesson and may be printed out to easily review the session in detail at any time.
  • COMET Fire Weather Modules at MedEd
  • Wildfire ABBA Fire Product
  • SPC Fire Weather Forecasts
  • National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)
  • US Drought Monitor
  • SSD Hazard Mapping System
  • NESDIS Fire Products
  • Firestorm Inducted Tornado page (video mentioned during teletraining session)
  • Bailey, A.W., and M.L. Anderson, 1980: Fire temperatures in grass, shrub and aspen communities in central Alberta. Journal of Range Management, 33, 37-40.
  • Dozier, J., 1981: A method for satellite identification of surface temperature fields of sub-pixel resolution. Remote Sensing of Environment, 11, 221 – 229.
  • Flannigan, M.D., and T.H. Vonder Haar, 1986: Forest fire monitoring using NOAA satellite AVHRR. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 16, 975 – 982.
  • Hufford, G.L., et. al., 1999: Detection and growth of an Alaskan forest fire using GOES-9 3.9um imagery. Int. J. Wildland Fire, 9(2), 129-136.
  • Prins, E. M., and W. P. Menzel, 1992: Geostationary satellite detection of biomass burning in South America, Int. J. Remote Sensing, 13, 2783-2799.
  • Weaver, J.F., J.F.W. Purdom, and T.L. Schneider, 1995: Observing forest fires with the GOES-8, 3.9 ┬Ám imaging channel. Wea. Forecasting, 10, 803-808.
This course is Basic

There are no prerequisites


Dan Bikos

Page Contact

Bernie Connell


Unless otherwise noted, all content on the CIRA RAMMB: VISIT, SHyMet and VLab webpages are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.