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Resource Watch


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


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  • This interactive map displays near-real-time active fires globally from the past week using satellite data provided by NASA's Fire Information for Research Management System. 
  • The map can be set to display all fires or only large fires, and points are color coded to identify how many days ago the fire was detected. 
Teaching Tips


  • The map is simple and would be easy for students to navigate on their own. 
  • The data is updated twice daily so the map remains accurate to real-time fire events. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some basic geography knowledge in order to make sense of the map.


  • Additional datasets from Resource Watch can be added to the map to view more than one at a time. For example, data for burned areas, fire weather, or other disaster events could be added so it displays simultaneously with the active fire data.
  • This map could be used in a science class when learning about the connections between wildfires and climate change to demonstrate which areas of the world are impacted most.
  • This map could be used in a geography class to discuss geographical trends related to climate change. 
  • This youth story about wildfires could be used along with this resource to add a more personal element to the lesson or activity. 
Scientist Notes
This interactive map shows daily information on fires outbreak. It also shows real-time data on the spatial locations of areas at risk to fires. Datasets are accurate and the resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.1.9-12 Use geospatial and related technologies to create maps to display and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
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