ArcGIS Online

Be Wildfire Aware within your own maps

By now we hope you’ve checked out the Wildfire Aware app put together by the Living Atlas team and have bookmarked it to refer to when wildfires are raging anywhere in the USA.

Image of Wildfire Aware app centered over the Great Lakes fire in North Carolina, May 16, 2023
Wildfire Aware App centered over the Great Lakes fire in North Carolina, May 16, 2023

In contrast to other fire tracking apps you may encounter, Wildfire Aware uses the power of geographic analysis to not only show you the progress of a wildfire according to the latest drone flights and satellite sensors, but it also goes in depth and gives context about what might be or have been affected by a wildfire.

In the past this information only existed within the Wildfire Aware app. Over the winter we had requests from users for the source incident, population, and environment enriched layers. So we have broken those out separately and the layer is now available in ArcGIS Online for whatever purpose you choose! You can use it in your own custom app, keep track of what’s happening in your own state or county, or include it for a purpose we can’t even imagine.

What’s happening in the background is the Wildfire Aware app relies on the automated live feeds technology to routinely enrich and update the fire perimeter every 30 minutes with information from 22 authoritative layers found in the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. The map is almost always current and answers important questions such as:

Image of the Wildfire Population and Environment Enrichment layer with popup
Wildfire Population and Environment Enrichment layer

Esri’s Living Atlas and Live Feeds Teams are excited to see what creative solutions the user community will come up with using this new Wildfire Population and Environment Enrichment layer.

About the authors

Michael Dangermond has over 25 years experience in GIS in such diverse fields as cartography, agriculture, international boundary delineation, environmental protection, regional planning, park planning, land and wildlife conservation, and forestry. He has been working for ESRI since 2010.

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With over two decades of GIS experience Emily has mapped elephants in Thailand, wildlife poachers in the Republic of Palau, land use related issues around Yosemite National Park, and active wildfire incidents for the State of California. Presently she is a Senior Product Engineer and Cartographer with the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World where she styles and designs layers, maps, and apps with the Environment Team. When not making maps, she is a true geographer and loves traveling with her family.

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Gonzalo Espinoza is a Principal GIS Engineer at ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Gonzalo specializes in hydrologic modeling, real time climate and hydro-informatic tools such as flood mapping and forecasting using National Water Model data. He masters the full geospatial tech stack required to develop scalable and operational services relying on large volumes of EO data in the fields of water and environment. At Living Atlas, he also supports the development of workflows for automation of data updates known as Live Feeds, technology used at Esri’s Disaster Response Program. Before ESRI Gonzalo worked in the development of Water Accounting at UNESCO IHE. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Jim Herries is a geographer with Esri in Redlands, California. He serves as Senior Principal GIS Engineer, GIS Engineering Lead, Cartography on the team responsible for ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Jim works with teams on thematic mapping and other types of maps that bring data to life, reflecting a drive to help GIS users find insights as they go along. He constantly looks for ways to create clear, focused map information products that incorporate meaningful spatial analysis and evocative visualizations. When he started in GIS at Ohio State, he walked over to the campus library to transcribe census data by hand to paper so that he could hand-enter it into spreadsheets for upload into Arc/INFO for mapping and analysis. Today, he appreciates how web GIS brings everyone access to good data in useful layers and maps as a starting point for great work.

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Calvin Manning

Web Developer with the Living Atlas of the World.

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James Sill

James is Product Engineer for Imagery Analytics at Esri. James' work is focused on expanding the Earth Observation data and analytics available in the Living Atlas. He have a passion for using modern remote sensing, machine learning, and cloud computing to help the scientific and conservation community to gain a better understanding of our planet.

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