California Wildfires: August & September 2009 Edition

Yes, parts of California are burning again — and the map makers are at work. Fires are often breaking out, so at the top of the story, maps to places currently in the news. Below that, general resources to check since this page was last updated.

Update: September 1

General Resources

  • Los Angeles Times maps: Watch the LA Times Google Maps account where fire maps are often posted for Southern California.
  • CBS 2 maps: Watch their Google Maps account where wildfire maps are often posted.
  • Los Angeles CITY Fire Department maps: The city of Los Angeles Fire Department posts maps to its Google account here for some fires and evacuation areas. Note that general area also known as Los Angeles is far broader than the actual city, which is why the department might not have fire info for all of Southern California (for those who get understandably frustrated over this).
  • Los Angeles COUNTY Fire Department maps: The county of Los Angeles covers much of Southern California (Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties are also part of the greater Los Angeles area). The LA County Fire Department serves unincorporated areas and cities without their own fire departments in LA County. So, a broader area is covered than the city of Los Angeles, but still not all fires will be listed, if they’re outside the county’s service area.
  • Wildfire Today: Regularly posts maps of fires.
  • Firefighter Blog: Regularly has maps of fires.
  • Enplan Wildfire Viewer: An excellent resource that lets you see across California where major fires have been spotted by satellite. For more about the viewer, see this article about it from the Orange County Register.
  • MODIS: Shows large fires across the US.
  • California Department Of Forestry & Fire Protection map: Maintains a Google Maps account that often pinpoints some fires.
  • GeoMAC Wildfire Information: Lets you see current fires and perimeters across the US, plus see historic information.
  • Wildfire From Fetch: Pinpoints fires, and if you click on an incident, you get an update on percentage contained and other information.
  • The California Fire Alliance maps: Has maps of fires across California and the Western United States.
  • The Orange County Register: Watch the newspaper’s Google Maps account here for possible maps of future fires.

Update: August 30

August 18 Fires

  • Lockheed Fire Map from the Santa Cruz Sentinel has boundaries of the fire, the evacuation center location and photo slideshows from various areas.
  • The Los Angeles Times has a basic map pinpointing the Lockheed Fire as well as the recent La Brea Fire.
  • Wildfire Today has a nice map of the La Brea fire via the GeoMac service listed further above.
  • The Orange County Register has a map of the Ortega Fire earlier this month.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Engines: Disasters


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • elZeeko

    We are a company that provides onsite mapping services for Incident Command Teams during wildfires. While we are not assigned to this incident, we are following it, and have mashed up the Incident Command Team’s daily mapping (downloaded from the USGS’s website) with Google Maps:

    Here is a link to our site.

    Zeke Lunder
    NorthTree GIS

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