Tons of wildfires have spread across the U.S. over the last couple of years. Some of them get contained early, while others pose a serious threat to animals, homes and the people who live in the area. Tap or click here for 18 must-have items that help you survive any emergency.
California’s largest wildfire has been on a rampage for almost two weeks. The Dixie Fire has already destroyed 16 homes and grown to 190,625 acres. As many as 5,000 firefighters are trying to contain it, which was only 21% suppressed over the weekend. It is now threatening to merge with the Fly Fire.
If something isn’t done soon, the Dixie Fire could engulf around 11,000 structures in Butte and Plumas counties. If you have loved ones in a wildfire-prone area, there are several maps where you can track the spread. Keep reading for five great online tools that will help track wildfires.
1. USDA and Forest Service
Your first place to look for information on the latest wildfires should be the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Not only will you get the best information, but the wildfire page also features a collection of public fire information websites.
There is an interactive map from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, where you can see the latest details on personnel count, cost, acres, percent contained and structures threatened. For social media, the page features a Twitter feed from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and Inciweb.
2. Incident Information System (InciWeb)
Want an interactive map of what is going on around the country? The InciWeb map is one of the most widely used incidents and wildfire maps around. When you click on a wildfire, the map will show you the current area where it is burning.
For more information, you can click on the Go to Incident button, where more in-depth details are available. This includes any public announcements, an overview of the fire, emergency and evacuation orders and social media accounts to follow.
It is one of the most detailed maps available, as it also shows weather around the wildfire, its current situation and outlook, in addition to basic information that is helpful to those affected.
3. AirNow Fire and Smoke map
As wildfires grow and move, they generate a lot of smoke and plumes. Depending on the wind strength and currents, the smoke can be carried for hundreds of miles across a state. AirNow’s Fire and Smoke Map can help you keep track of smoke and pollution.
If there is an incident near you, you click on the colored dot. This will display the current air quality for that area, predictions, and what you should do if you live there.
Tracking wildfires and their spread, the FireMappers website is a resource-rich page that displays where fires are, how many acres they have destroyed and if forward progress has been stopped.
Clicking on an incident shows you the acreage burned, percentage of containment, and the cause of the wire if one is known. There is also a link to additional resources and the incident can be tweeted as well.
The map also features several viewing layers and incident reports from users.
5. California OES Fire Awareness Map
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services developed a Fire Awareness map that features an overview of current fires in California, as well as a seven-day forecast. The map also overlays burn area perimeters of previous fires over the last decade.
Click on a wildfire, the popup information box displays the fire’s name, the incident number, status, acres and percentage contained.
Interestingly, it also displays the containment strategy for the next nine days. This details how many helicopters are involved as well as the number of fixed-wing aircraft, fire engines, personnel and state or federal officers helping.