Annual area burnt by wildfires by region

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What you should know about this indicator

Wildfires are detected through the use of satellite imagery based on the NASA MCD64 MODIS product which offers global assessments of burned areas and fire occurrences. Although widely used, this product is known to consistently underestimate both the extent of burned areas and the frequency of fires. However, in terms of historical trends, it stands out as the most comprehensive dataset, offering the longest time series compared to other available options.

Annual area burnt by wildfires by region
Total area of forests, savannas, shrublands/grasslands, croplands, and other land that have been burned as a result of .
Global Wildfire Information System (2022) – with minor processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
February 19, 2024
Next expected update
February 2025
Date range

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

Monthly burned area in hectares by landcover class for years 2002-2022 for all countries and sub-country administrative units (GADM level 0 and level 1 administrative units).

Retrieved on
February 19, 2024
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Global Wildfire Information System

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

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Reuse this work

  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
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How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Annual area burnt by wildfires by region”, part of the following publication: Hannah Ritchie, Pablo Rosado and Veronika Samborska (2024) - “Climate Change”. Data adapted from Global Wildfire Information System. Retrieved from [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Global Wildfire Information System (2022) – with minor processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Global Wildfire Information System (2022) – with minor processing by Our World in Data. “Annual area burnt by wildfires by region” [dataset]. Global Wildfire Information System, “Global Monthly Burned Area” [original data]. Retrieved July 15, 2024 from