We present a direct broadcast (DB) rapid response burned area mapping algorithm for Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data that combines products driven by the spectral signal of fire-affected areas from both emissive and reflective spectral bands. The algorithm processes VIIRS infrared M-bands (750 m) using spectral ratios of the top of atmosphere reflectance from a single satellite scene to identify pixels exhibiting surface properties consistent with burn scars. Next, this collection of candidate burn scar pixels is screened using a contextual filter based on VIIRS I-band (375 m) active fire detections (AFD) which removes erroneously classified pixels and provides burn scar detections (BSD). The AFD and BSD are then resampled to a 375m grid and reported jointly as VIIRS burned area (VBA). The accuracy of the VBA was assessed for 390 wildfires (11-114,500 ha in size) in the western United States. The spatial accuracy was assessed by comparison with a validation dataset of Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) burned area and incident fire perimeter polygons. The VBA temporal accuracy was evaluated using a time series of daily fire perimeter polygons derived from high resolution airborne infrared imagery. The algorithm's burned area mapping accuracy is 59%. The algorithm detected 60% of burned area on the initial day of burning and 73% within 24 h.