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Life has become more efficient and convenient through the internet. Newsrooms can track wildfires through their computer and people can easily access Knightsbridge FX for currency exchange services without leaving their comfort of home. Technology has made it easy to do tasks that used to be unattainable.
The Amazon rainforest is on fire and the images coming from Brazil have spurred a major global reaction. Journalists, activists and educators are monitoring the Amazon fire and its progress through their laptops or tablets without the need to subscribe to a high resolution satellite imaging service. They only need an internet connection.
NASA operates Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS), a service that provides real-time tools that can map and manage wildfires. It requires the thermal signature anomalies that can be detected by Aqua, Terra and Suomi NPP satellites to plot data on the global base map within 3 hours of a satellite passing overhead.
Each of the satellites cruises over the equator two times a day. Full global coverage is available every 24 to 48 hours. The processed information is the closest to real-time fire detection that most people can encounter. Information is used by first responders and authorities to spot breakouts. New information that is uploaded to the service every few days allows tracking of the development and course of the wildfire and the area of the destruction left behind.
The Amazon fire started as a series of small localized fires on August 15 and quickly manifested into a 100-kilometer long fire by August 15. The fact that NASA provides free tools means that there are no barriers to prevent grassroots groups and media to provide real-time information during their coverage of the fire. The detection methods that are being used by space agencies can improve the detection and accuracy in the coverage of both manmade and natural fires.
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