Where can I find wildfire perimeter data?

The USGS operated the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC) website from 2000-2020. GeoMAC was the public face of all wildland fire perimeters. That site was shut down on April 30, 2020 and responsibility for wildfire information was transferred to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). 

For customer service, contact BLM_FA_NIFC_Comments@blm.gov

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What should I know about wildfires and debris flows?

Wildland fires are inevitable in the western United States. Expansion of human development into forested areas has created a situation where wildfires can adversely affect lives and property, as can the flooding and landslides that occur in the aftermath of the fires. There is a need to develop tools and methods to identify and quantify the...

Will global warming produce more frequent and more intense wildfires?

There isn’t a direct relationship between climate change and fire, but researchers have found strong correlations between warm summer temperatures and large fire years, so there is general consensus that fire occurrence will increase with climate change. Hot, dry conditions, however, do not automatically mean fire—something needs to create the...
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Date published: September 13, 2019

Fast Fire Facts from USGS


You’ve got questions about USGS fire science. We’ve got answers.

Date published: August 29, 2019

About 2.5 Million Acres in Alaska Have Burned. The State's Wildfire Seasons Are Getting Worse, Experts Say

Alaska CASC University Director Scott Rupp and AK CASC-funded researcher Peter Bieniek provide input on Alaska's 2019 wildfire season.

Date published: September 7, 2017

Increases in Wildfire-Caused Erosion Could Impact Water Supply and Quality in the West

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Date published: March 14, 2016

Fire and Ice: Gauging the Effects of Wildfire on Alaskan Permafrost

USGS scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Alaska Fairbanks, have mapped belowground permafrost in areas of Alaska that have been affected by wildfire, years-to-decades after the fires occurred.  

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2019 California wildfires
December 31, 2018

2019 California wildfires

Image of California wildfires from USGS Factsheet 2019–3066

Two months after the Las Conchas fire, "moonscape" on Sanchez Mesa, NM, 2011.
January 30, 2017

Two months after the Las Conchas fire, "moonscape" on Sanchez Mesa, NM

Two months after the Las Conchas fire, "moonscape" on Sanchez Mesa, NM, 2011.

Smoky Mountain fires on the night of Nov. 28, 2016
November 28, 2016

Smoky Mountain fires on the night of Nov. 28, 2016

In an extreme drought and amid high winds, many fires burned together in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the town of Gatlinburg and nearby communities to form the deadly fire that became known as Chimney Tops 2. This photo was taken on the night of Nov. 28, 2016, as the fire was spreading rapidly.

Alder Fire in Yellowstone National Park
November 23, 2016

Alder Fire in Yellowstone National Park

Alder Fire in Yellowstone National Park. 

June 21, 2016


A Fire burns along the ground in a ponderosa pine forest in New Mexico
October 27, 2015

A fire burns along the ground in a ponderosa pine forest, New Mexico

Prescribed fires, such as this one, are used by land managers to restore ponderosa pine forests to more resilient conditions. We are fortunate to be able to occasionally participate in such burns because we are co-located with land managers.

Person writing on a data sheet in a burned area of the Funny River fire on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
June 30, 2015

Fire effects monitoring after the Funny River Fire, Kenai Peninsula AK

Pre- and post-fire measurements of fire effects help ecologists, fire scientists, and managers determine how the severity of wildfires affects plants, animal habitat, and ecosystem services

Many people placing fire instruments wrapped in fireproof coverings to record data from wildfires
September 30, 2014

Deploying fire instruments during a wildfire

Fire behavior instruments are deployed during wildfires and prescribed fires to provide data on the types of fire environments that damage archaeological resources

Image: Wildfire and Alaskan Permafrost
September 5, 2014

Wildfire and Alaskan Permafrost

Deploying geophysical equipment in the Nome Creek (AK) area to assess the effect of wildfire on permafrost. Small electrical signals are injected into the ground through metal stakes connected to the orange cable in the foreground. The measured response is used to detect belowground permafrost conditions.

Scientists pictured, L-R: Dana Brown (U. Alaska Fairbanks),

Large flames from a controlled fire experiment rise into the air as instruments record data
April 30, 2014

Controlled fire studies provide data on archaeological sites impacts

Controlled experiments that simulate fire environments provide critical information for understanding how fire intensity and duration impact archaeological resources

Image: Burned Trees after wildfire in Gila National Forest
June 29, 2012

Burned Trees after wildfire in Gila National Forest

Burned trees along the trail into Hummingbird Saddle, Gila National Forest, New Mexico, where USGS scientists installed a rain gage.

Attribution: Natural Hazards