Get Ready – 2013 Wildfire Season is Underway

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) is forecasting an active wildfire season this year and so far it is off to an early start. In their National Significant Wildland Fire Outlook, NIFC states there is a “Significant fire potential [that] will be above normal over much of California, Oregon, South Central Washington, Western Idaho, and Northern Nevada.” Currently, there are several active wildfires in Colorado.

The Esri Disaster Response Program learned a lot from the recent wildfires in Southern California and we want to share some of our experiences and resources to help you better prepare for this wildfire season:

  1. The Esri Disaster Response Program Request Assistance Page for Wildfire Support. Use this form to get 24/7 tech support, temporary software, data resources, or technical assistance.
  2. The Wildfire Public Information Map includes the latest information from Federal government agencies like wildfire reports and red flag warnings to keep you up-to-date on current wildfires. You can also search for georeferenced social media using keywords with this map. This map can be configured and embedded in your own site by copying and pasting the HTML into your own webpage. Simply click the “Link” button and use the HTML code provided in the “Copy/paste” box. Click on the map below to access this web mapping application that is also found on our Wildfire Disaster Response Program website.
    Also, because we know this map has valuable information that you will want to access anywhere you go, we will be testing a responsive deployment for this application. Load the map on a phone and it will respond with a mobile interface. If you embed it in a website, the map will shift, tools will resize, and features will respond to make your map fit appropriately. Please let us know what you think of this feature, and if you like it, perhaps it will be incorporated into the Social Media Template this fall so you can share a responsive application with your web maps.
  3. Prepare your maps and apps and be ready to deploy.

Stay tuned for more wildfire related resources and new features like Geoenrichment for impact analysis, Operations Dashboard for monitoring live operations, and Perform Analysis tools all via ArcGIS Online.

Contributed by Paul Doherty, Public Safety Technology Specialist

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  1. Paul Doherty says:

    For an example of using the US Wildfire Activity web map as a starting point for building a wildfire map, see

  2. Paul Doherty says:

    Some users have asked if they can use the US Wildfire web map as a boilerplate for their region. The answer is yes! Add your layers (map services, GeoRSS, etc) and save it as your own.

    While we are working on integrating global feeds as part of the Esri Disaster Response Program, please send us your suggestions and data sources for consideration.