Tag: California fires

How we made the Rim Fire Critical Points of Interest Map

Rim Fire Critical Points of Interest Map

Creating a map showing a fire perimeter with ArcGIS Online is more straightforward than you might think. The most important layer—the fire location and perimeter—is a publicly shared layer in ArcGIS Online that is generated from a data feed provided … Continue reading

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Fire Response GIS Activities Ramping Up

You’ve seen several posts here regarding Explorer and ArcGIS Online services that we’ve put up to support some of the work being done at the various Operations Centers. But that’s only a small part of the huge amount of GIS work that is happening, and will continue to happen over the coming months.

The initial GIS efforts centered around mapping the current status of perimeters and managing assets that were responding. Many status maps were authored. Here’s an example of one of those maps created by the California Office of Emergency Services.

ArcPad is currently being deployed in the field for damage assessment activities. Data is checked out, taken into the field, field data is collected, then brought back to the operations centers for check-in. Georeferenced photos are also being managed as part of the damage assessment activities. Here’s ArcPad in the field at the Malibu Fire yesterday.

And a large amount and variety of data is being collected, processed, and managed using ArcSDE, including parcel data and the latest high-resolution imagery to help delineate burn areas. These services are being published via a non-public, secure site using ArcGIS Server. Here’s a screenshot showing the current Fire Portal application which uses the out-of-the-box ArcGIS Server Web Mapping Application. ArcGIS Explorer applications in use at the various command and operations centers are also leveraging these same services.

The GIS work being performed by the various agencies and volunteers is making a big difference.


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Four and Half Days Later…

Here’s a couple of photos taken 4.5 days apart from the same spot. The one on top was taken just a couple of hours ago, the one below was taken Tuesday evening (and we posted it on Wednesday). That was the Slide Fire, and it’s currently 75% contained. Though there are still some problematic fires, many are reaching full containment.

It’s good to see blue skies and mountains again, even if it’s still through a smoky haze.

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Explorer California Fire Map Updated

We’ve just updated the Explorer California Fire Map. It can be opened from the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center as described in our previous post. From Explorer, choose File, then Resource Center, then click the California Fires map in the lower right.

The map now includes MODIS burn perimeters as well as the USGS fire perimeters. Both services are updated regularly, and using this map Explorer will refresh both layers every 15 minutes.

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Explorer Fire Map and Fire Perimeter Service Now Available

We’ve just published an Explorer Fire Perimeter Map which you can open from the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center. From Explorer, choose File, then Resource Center, and look for the newly published map in the lower right.

The complete map includes a connection to a fire perimeter service which is updated at regular intervals. Explorer will automatically refresh the service every 15 minutes to check for perimeter updates.

The map includes a collection of results which can be clicked to navigate to each fire area. Clicking the result pushpin will open a direct connection to the InciWeb site (if an entry is available) for the latest fire status, news, maps, and other information.

The US Topo Maps layer has also been included, allowing a quick toggle from the contents to view the perimeters with topographic maps.

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ESRI Fire Support Site

We’ve had a number of requests today concerning the availability of maps, data, and services concerning the California fires. ESRI maintains a disaster response and assistance site which includes the fire support site containing information and links to useful GIS resources. The site includes a repository of current published maps from a variety of sources.

ESRI is actively involved in the response efforts and will be publishing services (some for public use, some only for those users directly involved) in support of the GIS activities surrounding the fires. We’ll publish information on public resources for Explorer users here at this blog.

For help or more information you’ll find links at the wildfire support site for requesting software or assistance, and email links to request additional information.

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Running Springs Fire from Redlands

As of this morning the Running Springs Fire in the San Bernardino National Forest is still 0% contained. Last night it crept down over the ridge from the town of Running Springs, where many homes were lost, and it was clearly visible from ESRI and throughout Redlands. Here’s a couple of photos that one of our team members took from their home yesterday evening.

Shown below is an updated Explorer map showing the fire perimeters and MODIS hot spots throughout southern California as of last night. We’ll be updating this as we get updated perimeters.


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2003 Fires Compared

It was almost exactly four years ago when southern California fires reached a magnitude comparable to today’s disaster.  Two of the most extensive that year were the Grand Prix and Old Fires in the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests near Redlands. 

Here’s a screenshot showing the 2003 fire perimeters in gray and current fire perimeters in yellow. Active MODIS hot spots are shown in orange. You can see how the current fires threaten to consume areas that were spared in 2003.

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Fires in Southern California

It’s all over the news; fires seem to be burning everywhere in Southern California and the air is heavy with smoke. Yesterday you could see it, smell it, and even taste it. Today, the Santa Ana winds which have been fanning the flames seem to be dying down, or at least they seemed to be doing so this morning.

Below is a screenshot showing some of the data which is being published. The MODIS hot spots (red and yellow dots) are from the Forest Service. The background image is also from the MODIS site, and you can see the smoke trails blowing across southern California and out across the Pacific Ocean. The active fire perimeters (orange polygons) and active fire points (green triangles) are from the GeoMAC site.

The image below shows one of the fires closest to Redlands, up in the local mountains near the town of Lake Arrowhead. The red polygon is the burned area, and the yellow outlines show the fire perimeter at various times. The note links to a local TV station broadcasting live and recorded video of the fires there. The fires have spread and are now burning around the town of Running Springs.

The Canyon Fire was one of the first to hit the news. Shown below is the fire perimeter along with a note that links to online photos.

We also found a KMZ created by the California Office of Emergency Services, and here it is shown on top of the topographic map layer from the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center.

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