The Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS) has been launched in an effort to warn communities of fires, especially in countries of the South with no national alert system. The network offers near real-time detection of emerging fires, and alerts users through an online portal, via email or as an SMS. Africa is the continent worst affected by uncontrolled fires, which damage or destroy 175 million ha of land each year.

The system uses data from two NASA satellites which pass over every point on the globe every 6 h, taking photographs with an infrared camera that detects heat levels on the ground. GFIMS processes the images to produce an online map of fire hotspots.



 
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