The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is the steward of the Landsat archive which includes satellite imagery dating back to 1972. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have specified requirements to systematically observe atmosphere, ocean, and land characteristics, or Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). The Global Climate Observing System has developed formal specifications for ECVs that are technically and economically feasible for systematic ECV observation. Fire Disturbance is one of the 14 Terrestrial ECVs, and is defined as “burned area” supplemented by “active fires” and fire radiated power” (FRP) measurements. Landsat’s temporal resolution and sensor characteristics make it suitable for mapping burned area, but not suitable for monitoring active fires or FRP. In this paper, we describe the development of a database for calibration, verification, and validation of a Landsat-based burned area ECV, along with the algorithms to be tested against that database.