Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wildfire Maps and Information Resources

For those with interest in the current Western wildfires, as well as future wildfires across the U.S., find below links to the known, publicly available Federal information resources. Where available, a brief description of the product as offered by responsible entity's website is provided.  Other comments are those of this author:

Situation Overview - Currently Active Fires

National Fire News - Current Wildfires: A textual update of the current national wildfire situation as provided by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).  Information with a region specific focus is available by selecting the appropriate geographic region at the Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACG) web sites.

Current Large Incidents: An overview map by the U.S. Forest Service Active Mapping Program that uses data provided by NIFC.

InciWeb: A collaborative website that delivers a fusion of several data streams. Detailed information about any specific wildfire can be obtained by clicking on the incident name. Available hard copy map resources are available through the Maps link.

Detailed Information - Currently Active Fires

Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group or GeoMAC, is an internet-based mapping application originally designed for fire managers to access online maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska. Using a standard web browser, fire personnel can view this information to pinpoint the affected areas.

Active Fire Mapping Program is an operational, satellite-based fire detection and monitoring program managed by the USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Active Fire Mapping program provides near real-time detection and characterization of wildland fire conditions in a geospatial context for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Detectable fire activity across all administrative ownerships in the United States and Canada are mapped and characterized by the program. From this webpage access is provided to a wide range of map based products and data by using links on the left side bar.  Pages of note:

Fire and Smoke Products: NOAA's new home page for its various fire and smoke products.  Other related pages of note:


Outlooks: Textual information about the potential for wildfires for the entire United States as provided by NIFC.

Predictive Services Program: This website facilitates integration of comprehensive climate, weather, situation and fuels information in geospatial format. Predictive Services personnel at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACCs) utilize these data to produce daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal Fire Weather and Fire Danger Outlook products that provide decision support information to anticipate fire activity. From this website three different map products may be selected.

WFAS Interactive Map is a prototype project by the Fire Behavior Research and Fire Modeling Institute work units at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab to develop the methods necessary for delivering nationwide observed and 24-hour forecast fire danger maps to the public through a compact web mapping program.

Weather Fire Outlooks: NOAA's National Weather Service's map based wildfire outlook service.

Comment: Although massive kudos go out the wildfire community for their many years of seeing geospatial information technology as absolutely essential to their operations, one can only wonder when looking at the expansive variety of data streams - why isn't there ONE place where data is shared?  Add to the mix state and local sites such as the one for Colorado, and we are back to the same point made last week about floods in Duluth (See: Comparing Mapping Approaches for the Duluth Floods).  Where, oh where, in the web enabled world - one that is becoming geospatially driven - are the national/regional disaster situational awareness viewer(s) for the public?  

1 comment:

  1. Have you looked at: