posted: Nov 25, 2019author: Melinda Kernik


What is the item?

This data layer shows the location of wildfires in Minnesota between 1985 and 2019 (updated weekly). It includes fires for which the MN Department of Natural Resources was the primary responding agency - in other words, wildfires on state lands and some rural private lands. It does not include fires occurring on federal and native American lands (several hundred annually) or those dealt with by local fire departments (several thousand annually). Even with only a subset of events represented, the data provide a fascinating look into the frequency and causes of wildfires across the state!

What BTAA Library submitted the item?

University of Minnesota


Interesting tidbits:

  • Curious about what proportion of wildfires are caused by lightning (as opposed to railroads, arson, or children)? The data includes information about the cause, size, and damages related to each fire.
  • The data have been collected for more than 30 years, making it possible to explore patterns in these variables over time and space.
  • Using dates and start times, it is possible to look at seasonal variations and to visualize fire incidents over time.


Where can I find out more?

  • For information about ongoing wildfires, fire weather forecasts, and fire danger index models, check out the Wildland Fire Information Center.
  • For a national map of major, ongoing fire incidents, turn to InciWeb.

Have questions about this item, the BTAA geoportal, or maps and geospatial data in general? Please don’t hesitate to contact our project team!

Melinda Kernik is the Spatial Data Analyst and Curator at the University of Minnesota.