How Bad is the Smoke? Current Fires and Air Quality Resources


Top 10 ways to get up-to-date information on fires and air quality.

Fires burning in the United States right now tally over 500,000 acres and are blanketing much of the Western U.S. in smoke. Millions of people are suffering with poor air quality, made even more problematic by a pandemic. Our team of fire experts at CU Boulder have compiled a list of go-to resources that provide up-to-date information on how the wildfires are progressing, the smoke transport in the atmosphere, and impacts to air quality. These efforts draw on many different sources of information—from local air quality monitoring stations to satellites in space. They represent how big data, and the hundreds of scientists behind those data, are helping us understand fire. Always check with your local emergency department for specific information on evacuations and immediate threats to lives and property.

What’s burning in the United States?
Check out this interactive map from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). This visualization platform provides fire incident data, including satellite-based detections from MODIS and VIIRS, active fire perimeters, NowCoast radar, and fire weather.

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