Public Safety

Wildland Fire Management

ArcGIS as a System forWildland Fire Management

ArcGIS provides a system for wildland fire management that supports all facets of the mission including preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

ArcGIS as a System


GIS spatial analysis and modeling power provide the tools necessary to perform a thorough risk and hazard assessment. Not only can GIS quickly map and display values at risk, predicted spread and direction of wildfires and location/routing of responding resources, it can also document damages and rehabilitation needs after the flaming front passes through. This type of work can be performed by fire officials using the power of ArcGIS for Desktop technology on vehicle mounted laptops while on the fireline or in the situation unit during large complex fire occurrences.


A web-based GIS enabled common operating picture (COP) provides an essential geographic context of the jurisdiction with base layers of information (imagery, topographic features, critical infrastructure, protection area boundaries, etc.) GIS can also consume and publish dynamic GIS data and services from other systems (weather, field data collection including photos, video, GPS location of resources, etc.). Operational analytics (demographic analysis, smoke modeling, road closures, evacuations, shelter locations) on the GIS platform can be performed by fusing base map data with dynamic data. This type of technology is configured for use by planning personnel and does not require a technical GIS analyst.


Mobile GIS technology now provides a greater degree of firefighter safety and situational awareness. These capabilities include knowing the location of all fireline personnel in relation to the flaming front and the distance to the nearest safety zone. Access to the common operating picture (COP) used by Incident Command staff, the ability to provide/receive updates directly on the fireline, navigation to spotfires and assigned areas, and the ability to transmit still photos and video footage of fire behavior for visualization within a geographic context. ArcGIS for Windows Mobile is configurable for use in the field with very little training required.

Online Maps and Data

ArcGIS Online and provide access to all types of GIS data, imagery, and applications and is a key component of the ArcGIS system for wildland fire management. A variety of worldwide base maps are available including imagery, streets, topography, community base maps and more. Fire officials can create private or public groups to exchange map data, projects, and presentations.

GIS Server

ArcGIS for Server is the core component of the GIS system for wildland fire management. It can be deployed within the Incident Command Post, agency HQ, or hosted in the cloud and provided as a GIS service. ArcGIS for Server provides the platform for the organization and management of GIS data available to the desktop for planning and analysis required for enhanced decision support and awareness of unfolding events. It manages mobile connections to consume updates and edits which are stored in the database and published to the COP. It also enables everyone involved with the fire from Geographic Area Coordination Centers, agency administrators, fire program managers and incident personnel to stay informed on current wildfire status.

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