Now that midsummer is synonymous with out-of-control wildfires, researchers and government agencies are putting out impressive online mapping systems to help people understand their peril. As California, Oregon, Washington, and other states brace for another devastating wildfire season, fire mapping has improved substantially since last year. Here’s where to bookmark:
- AirNow Fire and Smoke Map. This U.S. map presents air-quality readings nationwide from 24-hour air sensors across the country, and thus provides the best right-now, bird’s-eye snapshot of the country’s smoke and fire situation, as well as precise information about your zip code’s air quality. Its fire reporting is rudimentary and time delayed.
- FireMappers Wildfire Early Notification Map. This is the map to keep an eye on for developing fires. It is geared toward public safety professionals, and includes hot spots detected by satellites, which may or may not grow into wildfires. The map pulls early information from a number of sources, including social media, flight radar, and government agencies—and thus is always best confirmed elsewhere.
- National 7-Day Fire Potential Map. Click on “7 Day Fire Outlook” on the left, and you’ll see the risk coming your way over the next week. It’s not pretty for California and the Northwest.
You can also find your county’s Evacuation and Advisory Maps here.