The fire cycle

As the nation’s leading weather and climate-science agency, NOAA plays a vital role supporting federal, state, local and tribal partners in preparing for the threat of wildfires, and in battling the blazes that endanger life and property. To aid in planning and responses to wildfires, NOAA scientists are engaged in understanding virtually every aspect of the fire cycle.

NOAA's fire weather forecast products range from long-term seasonal climate predictions to localized short-term warnings, and include air quality and smoke forecasts related to wildfires. 

NOAA’s geostationary and polar orbiting satellites can spot new fires, often before they are reported to officials and can track the path of large smoke plumes.

After the fire, NOAA forecasters stay on alert for precipitation over burn scars, which can instigate debris flows and cause flash floods.