Weather Radar Tracking of Wildfire Perimeters

Case ID:


The rapid spread of large wildfires, especially those impacting communities in the wildland urban interface, demands a sophisticated and timely fire tracking system. Current fire tracking tools, however, often lack the immediacy and accuracy required for effective response and resource allocation. Our innovative radar-based fire tracking technology addresses this need, providing real-time updates on the location and rate-of-spread of wildfires.


Our technology harnesses the power of fixed-site weather radars to track the progression of large wildfires in real-time. By identifying and monitoring areas of high radar reflectivity - which typically correlate with active fire perimeters - we've developed a robust tool for predicting the movement and spread of wildfires. We use these reflectivity points within a fire area to continuously update fire perimeters approximately every 10 minutes. Validated against publicly available NEXRAD radar data from significant wildfires in Northern California, our tool demonstrates high compatibility and comparable accuracy with other fire tracking methods, including satellite and airborne infrared observations.


  • Offers real-time, accurate tracking of wildfires.
  • Provides valuable insights into fire behavior and spread rate.
  • Uses readily available NEXRAD radar data, enhancing practicality.

Potential Applications

  • Helps emergency management teams make efficient, informed decisions.
  • Supports research into wildfire behavior and spread mechanisms.
  • Aids Incident Meteorologists and Fire Chiefs in managing wildfire incidents.

Related Patent and Publication

  • Patent pending
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ray Siripirom
Senior Licensing Associate
University of Nevada, Reno
Neil Lareau