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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.
  • Science and Engineering
    • 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.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • Geography 1 (D3): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by describing the major regions of the Earth and their major physical, environmental, and cultural features using a variety of geographic tools, including digital tools and resources.
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