Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) Burn Severity Images


The burn severity mosaics consist of thematic raster images of MTBS burn severity classes for all currently completed MTBS fires for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Mosaicked burn severity images are compiled annually for each year by US State and the continental United States. Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) is an interagency program whose goal is to consistently map the burn severity and extent of large fires across all lands of the United States from 1984 to present. This includes all fires 1000 acres or greater in the western United States and 500 acres or greater in the eastern Unites States. The extent of coverage includes the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The program is conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) and the USDA Forest Service Geospatial Technology and Applications Center (GTAC). MTBS was first enacted in 2005, primarily to meet the information needs of the Wildland Fire Leadership Council (WFLC). The primary objective at that time was to provide data to the WFLC for monitoring the effectiveness of the ten-year National Fire Plan. The scope of the program has grown since inception and provides data to a wide range of users. These include national policy-makers such as WFLC and others who are focused on implementing and monitoring national fire management strategies; field management units such as national forests, parks and other federal and tribal lands that benefit from the availability of GIS-ready maps and data; other federal land cover mapping programs such as LANDFIRE which utilizes burn severity data in their own efforts; and academic and agency research entities interested in fire severity data over significant geographic and temporal extents.

MTBS data are freely available to the public and are generated by leveraging other national programs including the Landsat satellite program, jointly developed and managed by the USGS and NASA. Landsat data are analyzed through a standardized and consistent methodology, generating products at a 30 meter resolution dating back to 1984. One of the greatest strengths of the program is the consistency of the data products which would be impossible without the historic Landsat archive, the largest in the world.

You can visit the MTBS Project Website for more information.

You can also visit the MTBS Data Explorer to learn more and interact with the data.



Name Pixel Size Description
Severity 30 meters

Burn severity layers are thematic images depicting severity as unburned to low, low, moderate, high, and increased greenness (increased postfire vegetation response). The layer may also have a sixth class representing a mask for clouds, shadows, large water bodies, or other features on the landscape that erroneously affect the severity classification.

Severity Class Table

Value Color Description
0 #000000 Background
1 #006400 Unburned to Low
2 #7fffd4 Low
3 #ffff00 Moderate
4 #ff0000 High
5 #7fff00 Increased Greenness
6 #ffffff Non-Mapping Area

Image Properties

Image Properties

Name Type Description
study_area STRING

MTBS currently covers CONUS, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. Possible values: CONUS, AK, PR, HI.

Terms of Use

Terms of Use

The USDA Forest Service makes no warranty, expressed or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, completeness or utility of these geospatial data, or for the improper or incorrect use of these geospatial data. These geospatial data and related maps or graphics are not legal documents and are not intended to be used as such.

The data and maps may not be used to determine title, ownership, legal descriptions or boundaries, legal jurisdiction, or restrictions that may be in place on either public or private land. Natural hazards may or may not be depicted on the data and maps, and land users should exercise due caution. The data are dynamic and may change over time. The user is responsible to verify the limitations of the geospatial data and to use the data accordingly. These data were collected using funding from the U.S. Government and can be used without additional permissions or fees. If you use these data in a publication, presentation, or other research product please use the following citation: USDA Forest Service/US Geological Survey. Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity Thematic Burn Severity. Salt Lake City, Utah/Sioux Falls, South Dakota


  • USDA Forest Service/US Geological Survey. Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity Thematic Burn Severity. Salt Lake City, Utah/Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Explore with Earth Engine

Code Editor (JavaScript)

var dataset = ee.ImageCollection('USFS/GTAC/MTBS/annual_burn_severity_mosaics/v1');

var visualization = {
  bands: ['Severity'],
  min: 0,
  max: 6,
      ['000000', '006400', '7fffd4', 'ffff00', 'ff0000', '7fff00', 'ffffff']

Map.setCenter(-95.712891, 37.09024, 5);

Map.addLayer(dataset, visualization, 'Severity');
Open in Code Editor