Wildfires are unplanned and uncontrolled fires that rapidly spread across an area. While fire is an essential process for many ecosystems, wildfires can be disastrous to anything in their path.

Wildfires can cause loss of life and property, poor air quality, transportation disruptions and other effects as they occur. After a fire, burned areas are more prone to floods, landslides, as well as poor land and water quality. Climate change is causing a warmer world, with increases in drier conditions and droughts. We now face longer fire seasons with conditions ideal for fires to happen more often, spread more easily, and burn with higher intensity.

The Wildfires program area leverages Earth-observing data, applied research and partnerships to reduce wildfire risk before, during, and after an event.

  • Before: Supply data and expertise to mitigate wildfire risk.
  • During: Provide information to responding agencies on a fire's effect on communities, transportation, land, water, and air quality.
  • After: Contribute resources to research, recovery, and future resilience of communities.