Tuesday, July 31, 2018

U.S. Wildfire Maps

On Sunday I reported on two useful maps for helping to keep track of the spread of wildfires this summer. The San Francisco Chronicle's California Fire Tracker is mapping and providing information on the wildfires currently burning across California. You can also view information about wildfires inside and outside of California on the US Wildfire Activity Public Information Map.

Esri has now also released an interactive map to track the raging fires across the United States and to provide context to the severity of the California fires. If you select a fire indicated on the USA Wildfire map you can view information about the chosen fire, including the start date, containment and links to the latest news and social information. Esri's map also includes an NWS animated smoke risk forecast, this layer is visualized to represent the smoke output of a fire.

The fires and fire perimeters on the map come from GeoMAC, a mapping application designed to provide fire managers with access to online maps of current fire locations and perimeters. GeoMAC members include the USGS, National Interagency Fire Center, National Weather Service and Bureau of Land Management, Remote Sensing Application Center, Bureau of Land Management, National Geophysical Data Center. The data is updated manually based on information from a host of sources including those on the ground. It is important to note that the map is not up-dated in real-time and the fire perimeters are only a guide.

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