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About the SSD Fire and Smoke Program

The Hazard Mapping System (HMS) is an interactive processing system that allows the trained satellite analysts in the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB), within the Satellite Services Division (SSD), to manually integrate data from automated fire detection algorithms using GOES and polar (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)) images. The result is a quality controlled display of the locations of fires and significant smoke plumes detected by meteorological satellites.

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The analysis of fire locations and smoke extent over Mexico, Central America, Cuba, and the Bahamas is performed by the Mexican Meteorological Service (Servicio Meteorológico Nacional). The analysis for these areas may not be available every day, particularly on the weekends and Mexican Holidays. In these cases, NESDIS will perform the fire analysis over Cuba, the Bahamas, and northern Mexico and analyze significant smoke over the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific. Automated fire detection points for GOES(ABBA), AVHRR(FIMMA), and MODIS will still be available at all times (

The locations of any significant smoke-producing fires are fed daily to the National Weather Service's operational Air Quality Smoke Forecast System.

GASP (GOES Aerosol/Smoke Products) provides aerosol optical depth from both GOES satellites (GASP-East AOD and GASP-West AOD), as well as smoke-specific aerosol optical depth from the GASP Automated Smoke Detection and Tracking Algorithm for both GOES satellites (ASDTA Smoke-East AOD and ASDTA Smoke-West AOD).

The information on fire position should be used as general guidance and for strategic planning. Tactical decisions, such as the activation of a response to fight these fires, should not be made without other information to corroborate the fire's existence and location. Users should note:


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