Interactive Maps – A Crucial Resource for Tracking Wildfires and Saving Lives

Sadly, we are once again witnessing another hot, dry summer and the prospect of a very busy fall wildfire season. As we know, wildfires are fast moving, deadly, and violent. Having access to real-time, accurate data and warnings is crucial for saving life and property. There are many resources to help inform the public and provide real-time or near real-time information and safety tips. We share some of them below.

City of Redding, CA

The city has stood up a webmap resource, most recently to track the Carr Fire activity. Access the latest incident information, structure damage status, road closures, active burn boundaries, and more.

Redding, CA wildfire map

CalFire Statewide Wildfire Map – This map provides general locations of major fires burning in California. The fire locations are approximates. Some of the fires on the map are not in the jurisdiction of CAL FIRE and are under the command of another local or federal fire agency.

calfire wildfire incidents map
Calfire wildfire map

Live Fire WebApp, developed in WebAppbuilder for ArcGIS – A clever and informative data resource put together by user pjdohertygis. A number of data layers have been collected and shared here including: Fire locations, reports, MODIS hot spots, hospitals, emergency shelters, and more.

Live Fire Web App

San Francisco Chronicle Wildfire Tracker – This interactive map developed in The San Francisco Chronicle newsroom provides information on wildfires burning across California.

2018 California Fire Tracker

Esri Disaster Response Resource – Esri has staff and resources available to users who are building maps and web apps to assist and inform the public. From Esri, “Esri is supporting organizations that are responding to wildfire disasters with software, data, imagery, project services, and technical support. If you are in need of software or support, complete the Request Assistance form. All requests should be justified in the message section of the form and are subject to approval.”

esri disaster response

Airfire Monitoring 4 – This webmap and data resource provides you with access to real-time data from monitoring stations around the country – Canada as well. Zoom to an area of interest, click on a monitoring site to reveal charts, data, and other reports. A url is also provided for each station for future, simple access to this data.

wildfire smoke monitoring

GeoMac wildfire viewer – The GeoMAC web site allows users in remote locations to manipulate map information displays, zoom in and out to display fire information at various scales and detail, and print hard copy maps for use in fire information and media briefings, dispatch offices, and coordination centers. The fire maps also have relational databases in which the user can display information on individual fires such as name of the fire, current acreage, and other fire status information.

GeoMac wildland fire support

BC (Canada) Wildfire Map  – developed by @neiljohnston using ‘s @ArcGISOnline   Recently Added: – CWFIS Fire Danger Layer – Fire point data, augmenting perimeters – ‘s Wildfire Evacuation alerts & orders – incidents.

BC Firemap

Recall,  back in late 2016 when horrific wildfires ravaged parts of Tennessee. An interactive webmap resource was developed to help manage the inventory of structures destroyed. This interactive map provides the status of individual structures. According to the resource, more information will be added as data is processed. A terrific resource that was very useful during this tragedy –  jump directly to the source.

Using live data from USGS and Waze, this Esri interactive map visualizes active wildfire locations and traffic alerts for Northern California.  The map incorporates a new mapping technique to group traffic alerts at locations where there is a high density of alerts. This method enables faster and more effective visual analysis in areas where there are many alerts that would normally overlap. Zoom in on the map to reveal the latest individual traffic alerts. Source of webmap: Esri:

Other Resources of Interest:

Do you know of a useful wildfire web service or perhaps you’ve been building one? Please feel free to share with us @geojobegis.

Want More? See

More Interactive Maps for Tracking Wildfires and Saving Lives

Note and a reminder to organizations who may be tasked with organizing GIS support in response to local wildfire incidents, Admin Tools for ArcGIS Online can support your GIS admin in their job, enabling rapid and efficient management of users and groups within your ArcGIS Online Org. GEO Jobe is ready to assist and support your team.

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GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

Geographer, GIS professional, writer, and fan of all things mobile.