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The Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) assimilates fire radiative power (FRP) observations from satellite-based sensors to produce daily estimates of biomass burning emissions. It has been extended to include information about injection heights derived from fire observations and meteorological information from the operational weather forecasts of ECMWF.

FRP observations currently assimilated in GFAS are the NASA Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS active fire products (

GFAS data includes: Fire Radiative Power (FRP), dry matter burnt and biomass burning emissions.

Data are available globally on a regular lat-lon grid with horizontal resolution of 0.1 degrees from 2003 to present. The features of the current version of GFAS (GFAS v1.2) are:

  • Injection height daily data (Mean altitude of maximum injection and Altitude of plume top) as provided by a Plume Rise Model
  • Pixel based quality control for MODIS/Aqua and Terra and SEVIRI observations
  • Statistical regression of the output when assimilating only Aqua or Terra observations so as to preserve consistency with data obtained assimilating Aqua and Terra observations

The gridded satellite data (stream=gfas, type=gsd) are also available hourly (e.g. gridded Aqua FRP from 1 to 2 UTC).

List of GFAS parameters

Gridded plume rise model parameters

short nameunitsParameter ID
Mean altitude of maximum injectionmamim (above sea level)119.210
Altitude of plume topaptm (above sea level)120.210
Altitude of plume bottom*apbm (above sea level)242.210
Injection height (from IS4FIRES)*injhm60.210
GFAS analysis surface parametersshort nameunitsParameter ID
Wildfire flux of Carbon Dioxideco2firekg m-2 s-180.210
Wildfire flux of Carbon Monoxidecofirekg m-2 s-181.210
Wildfire flux of Methanech4firekg m-2 s-182.210
Wildfire flux of Non-Methane Hydro-Carbonsnmhcfirekg m-2 s-183.210
Wildfire flux of Hydrogenh2firekg m-2 s-184.210
Wildfire flux of Nitrogen Oxides NOxnoxfirekg m-2 s-185.210
Wildfire flux of Nitrous Oxiden2ofirekg m-2 s-186.210
Wildfire flux of Particulate Matter PM2.5pm2p5firekg m-2 s-187.210
Wildfire flux of Total Particulate Mattertpmfirekg m-2 s-188.210
Wildfire flux of Total Carbon in Aerosolstcfirekg m-2 s-189.210
Wildfire flux of Organic Carbonocfirekg m-2 s-190.210
Wildfire flux of Black Carbonbcfirekg m-2 s-191.210
Wildfire overall flux of burnt Carboncfirekg m-2 s-192.210
Wildfire combustion ratecrfirekg m-2 s-1100.210
Wildfire flux of Sulfur Dioxideso2firekg m-2 s-1102.210
Wildfire Flux of Methanol (CH3OH)ch3ohfirekg m-2 s-1103.210
Wildfire Flux of Ethanol (C2H5OH)c2h5ohfirekg m-2 s-1104.210
Wildfire Flux of Propane (C3H8)c3h8firekg m-2 s-1105.210
Wildfire Flux of Ethene (C2H4)c2h4firekg m-2 s-1106.210
Wildfire Flux of Propene (C3H6)c3h6firekg m-2 s-1107.210
Wildfire Flux of Isoprene (C5H8)c5h8firekg m-2 s-1108.210
Wildfire Flux of Terpenes (C5H8)nterpenesfirekg m-2 s-1109.210
Wildfire Flux of Toluene_lump (C7H8+ C6H6 + C8H10)toluenefirekg m-2 s-1110.210
Wildfire Flux of Higher Alkenes (CnH2n, C>=4)hialkenesfirekg m-2 s-1111.210
Wildfire Flux of Higher Alkanes (CnH2n+2, C>=4)hialkanesfirekg m-2 s-1112.210
Wildfire Flux of Formaldehyde (CH2O)ch2ofirekg m-2 s-1113.210
Wildfire Flux of Acetaldehyde (C2H4O)c2h4ofirekg m-2 s-1114.210
Wildfire Flux of Acetone (C3H6O)c3h6ofirekg m-2 s-1115.210
Wildfire Flux of Ammonia (NH3)nh3firekg m-2 s-1116.210
Wildfire Flux of Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) (C2H6S)c2h6sfirekg m-2 s-1117.210
Wildfire Flux of Ethane (C2H6)c2h6firekg m-2 s-1118.210
Wildfire Flux of Toluene (C7H8)c7h8firekg m-2 s-1231.210
Wildfire Flux of Benzene (C6H6)c6h6firekg m-2 s-1232.210
Wildfire Flux of Xylene (C8H10)c8h10firekg m-2 s-1233.210
Wildfire Flux of Butenes (C4H8)c4h8firekg m-2 s-1234.210
Wildfire Flux of Pentenes (C5H10)c5h10firekg m-2 s-1235.210
Wildfire Flux of Hexene (C6H12)c6h12firekg m-2 s-1236.210
Wildfire Flux of Octene (C8H16)c8h16firekg m-2 s-1237.210
Wildfire Flux of Butanes (C4H10)c4h10firekg m-2 s-1238.210
Wildfire Flux of Pentanes (C5H12)c5h12firekg m-2 s-1239.210
Wildfire Flux of Hexanes (C6H14)c6h14firekg m-2 s-1240.210
Wildfire Flux of Heptane (C7H16)c7h16firekg m-2 s-1241.210

Gridded satellite parameters

short nameunitsParameter ID
Wildfire viewing angle of observationvafiredegrees79.210
Wildfire fraction of area observedoffiredimensionless97.210
Number of positive FRP pixels per grid cellnofrp
Wildfire radiative powerfrpfire

W m-2

Wildfire radiative power maximummaxfrpfireW101.210

*since 1 July 2018

Gridded satellite variables are raw satellite data averaged and gridded to hourly 0.1 degree grid fields.

Analysis surface variables are output from the GFAS data assimilation.

Satellites and instruments (under development!)

ParameterInstrumentSatellitePeriodData Provider/version
FRPMODISTerra2000-presentNASA LANCE-MODIS, collection 6
FRPMODISAqua2003-presentNASA LANCE-MODIS, collection 6


Before downloading data, users must accept the Copernicus CAMS data licence

GFAS data access

Access to the archive is either:

  • via the web (for sample data, limited to one year) using the ECMWF data server web interface:
  • or through WebAPI, which is the method allowing users to download CAMS data in an operational programmatic way (using Python - example scripts are available).

  • The gridded satellite data (stream=gfas, type=gsd) may be browsed through the GFAS catalogue and then retrieved via Web-API.

  • Note that for the convenience of users who cannot use the ECMWF data server (either via the interactive web interface or through the ECMWF WebAPI), the latest seven days of GFAS data are also available through the FTP Dissemination server. On the FTP server, the new GFAS data becomes available with several hours delay compared to the ECMWF data server. If you wish to have an FTP account setup, please contact Copernicus User Support at ECMWF.

    EXAMPLE describing explicitly what is in the files and how the data is described in file headers of GFAS data files on the FTP server.

    This file contains the analysis from 28 November between 00:00 - 23:59 analysis:

    /DATA/CAMS_GFAS/20171128> ls *frpfire.grib
    -rw-r--r--    1 anonymou ec         25920120 Nov 29 05:18 z_cams_c_ecmf_20171128000000_gfas_an_sfc_frpfire.grib

    > grib_ls -p date,time,step z_cams_c_ecmf_20171128000000_gfas_an_sfc_frpfire.grib


    date        time        step       
    20171128    0           0-24     

GFAS data file name and file format

GFAS File format is GRIB. See What are GRIB files and how can I read them for more information.


The latest daily Fire Radiative Power (FRP) analysis from GFAS is available here. The map represents the thermal radiation measured from space-borne sensors and detected as coming from actively burning vegetation and other open fires. It is expressed as the daily average of the fire radiative power (FRP) observations made in 125 km grid cells and expressed in the units of [mW/m2]. The rate of release of thermal radiation by a fire is believed to be related to the rate at which fuel is being consumed and smoke produced. Therefore, these daily averaged FRP areal intensity data are used in the global estimation of open vegetation fire trace gas and particulate emissions. 

Archived Fire Radiative Power maps (global and by selected areas) are available here for the past 5 days.

Known issues

  • 22 February 2021: Aqua and Terra MODIS FRP data changed from collection 6 to collection 6.1
  • 18 November 2020: Aqua MODIS FRP data reintroduced to GFAS processing
  • 19 August 2020: No Aqua MODIS FRP data available since 17 August (limited coverage on 16th) due to known issue with the satellite as documented at
  • 3 July 2018: GFAS production moved to ECMWF operations; standard output updated to include altitude of plume bottom and injection height from IS4FIRES.
  • 23-27 June 2018: Limited MODIS FRP observations being used in daily NRT GFAS processing.
  • 19 December 2016: Aqua and Terra MODIS FRP data changed from collection 5 to collection 6.
  • 8-9 August 2016: no Aqua MODIS data available leading to reduced GFAS emissions over Africa and South America - all other regions seem to be unaffected.
  • 22 April 2016: Terra MODIS data reintroduced to GFAS processing.
  • 1 March 2016: Terra MODIS removed from GFAS processing.
  • 24 February - 4 March 2016: anomalous FRP values associated with degraded Terra MODIS data being used in GFAS.
    • Updated 20 September 2016: GFAS FRP values for these dates have been recalculated using Aqua MODIS data only and have replaced the anomalous values in the GFAS catalogue. For users that have downloaded the GFAS data for these dates, we recommend to download them again.

How to cite the CAMS GFAS

Please acknowledge the use of the CAMS GFAS as stated in the Copernicus CAMS License agreement:

  • "Where the Licensee communicates to the public or distributes or publishes CAMS Information, the Licensee shall inform the recipients of the source of that information by using the following or any similar notice:

    'Generated using Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Information [Year]'.

  • Where the Licensee makes or contributes to a publication or distribution containing adapted or modified CAMS Information, the Licensee shall provide the following or any similar notice:

    'Contains modified Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Information [Year]';

Any such publication or distribution shall state that "neither the European Commission nor ECMWF is responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains."


Users can find Q&A - wildfires here.


  • Francesca Di Giuseppe, Samuel Rémy, Florian Pappenberger, and Fredrik Wetterhall, 2018: Combining fire radiative power observations with the fire weather index improves the estimation of fire emissions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.18, 5359–5370,

  • Rémy, S., A. Veira, R. Paugam, M. Sofiev, J. W. Kaiser, F. Marenco, S. P. Burton, A. Benedetti, R. J. Engelen, R. Ferrare, and J. W. Hair, 2017: Two global data sets of daily fire emission injection heights since 2003, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2921-2942,
  • N. Andela (VUA), J.W. Kaiser (ECMWF, KCL), A. Heil (FZ Jülich), T.T. van Leeuwen (VUA), G.R. van der Werf (VUA), M.J. Wooster (KCL), S. Remy (ECMWF) and M.G. Schultz (FZ Jülich), Assessment of the Global Fire Assimilation System (GFASv1). [PDF]
  • Kaiser, J. W., Heil, A., Andreae, M. O., Benedetti, A., Chubarova, N., Jones, L., Morcrette, J.-J., Razinger, M., Schultz, M. G., Suttie, M., and van der Werf, G. R. (2012). Biomass burning emissions estimated with a global fire assimilation system based on observed fire radiative power. BG, 9:527-554. [PDF]
  • Xu et al. (2010) New GOES imager algorithms for cloud and active fire detection and fire radiative power assessment across North, South and Central America. RSE Vol. 114
  • Heil et al. (2010) Assessment of the Real-Time Fire Emissions (GFASv0) by MACC, ECMWF Tech. Memo No. 628 [PDF]
  • Di Giuseppe, F, Remy, S, Pappenberger, F, Wetterhall, F (2016): Improving GFAS and CAMS biomass burning estimations by means of the Global ECMWF Fire Forecast system (GEFF), ECMWF Tech. Memo No. 790 [PDF]

This document has been produced in the context of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

The activities leading to these results have been contracted by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, operator of CAMS on behalf of the European Union (Delegation Agreement signed on 11/11/2014). All information in this document is provided "as is" and no guarantee or warranty is given that the information is fit for any particular purpose.

The users thereof use the information at their sole risk and liability. For the avoidance of all doubt, the European Commission and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts have no liability in respect of this document, which is merely representing the author's view.