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These Australia fire maps let you track air quality and smoke as bushfires continue

These Australia fire maps let you track air quality and smoke as bushfires continue
[Image: courtesy of NASA]

With a summer of record-setting heat underway in Australia, the country continues to grapple with a catastrophic wildfire season. According to an estimate cited by CNN, at least 20 people have died so far (along with an estimated 480 million animals in New South Wales), while the BBC reports that about 14.8 million acres have been scorched. Meanwhile, the capital city of Canberra just claimed the title for worst air quality of any major city on the planet, according to the New York Times.

The fires are affecting much of the country’s coastland, particularly in the north and west. If you’re looking for online resources that help you track the fires and stay updated on weather hazards and air quality, a few outlets let you do that through interactive maps and real-time data. We’ve rounded up a few resources below:

  • World Air Quality Index: This site posts updates about air quality in real time. Find it here.
  • Air Matters: This site also lists air quality data, along with city rankings. Find it here.
  • MyFireWatch: This site, a collaboration between Landgate and Edith Cowan University, includes an interactive map that lets you track fires within specific time periods. Find it here.
  • BBC: The U.K. news outlet has a helpful visual guide with animated graphics that show where the fires are progressing around the country. Find it here.
  • Google.org: Google’s charitable arm has a detailed interactive map of weather hazards in Australia, broken down by region. Find it here.
  • NOAA: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s satellite and information service lets you see real-time imagery from satellites. Find it here.
  • Vox: The digital news site has a good visual roundup of the fires as seen from space. Find it here.
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