MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) hotspot and precipitation data for the most recent 11-year period (2002 to 2012) were analyzed to elucidate recent trends in the seasonal and spatial fire occurrence in Sumatra and the relationship with precipitation. Using a latitude line of S 0.5°, Sumatra was divided into two regions, N. (north) and S. (south) Sumatra. Different trends in seasonal fire occurrence were discussed and further defined by considering two different precipitation patterns. Analysis of hotspot (fire) data was carried out using 0.5° × 0.5° grid cells to evaluate recent trends of spatial fire occurrence. Analysis results of hotspot and precipitation data were also tallied every 10-day to find the relationship between seasonal fire occurrence and the dry season. Standard deviation (SD) and variance (V) were then used to evaluate fire occurrences in Sumatra and Kalimantan objectively. The relatively mild fire occurrence tendency in Sumatra compared to Kalimantan could be the result of different stages of forest development or the high deforestation rate in Sumatra compared with Kalimantan. This paper also shows that the two different seasonal fire activities in N. and S. Sumatra were closely related to the two different dry season types: a winter and summer dry season type (WD & SD) in N. Sumatra, and a summer dry season type (SD) in S. Sumatra. Extreme fire occurrences in the Dumai region in 2005 and Palembang region in 2006 could be partially explained by a severe drought occurrence enhanced by two different kinds of El Nino events.