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GIS analytics for wildfire suppression mapping and activities

Fire map with perimeter, division breaks and dozer lines and a photo of a firefighter walking toward a tall fire

Resource, manage, and communicate

Agency staff gain greater insights when they use tools to visualize and analyze data related to wildfire response and suppression. By managing resources with location-based technology, incident command staff can easily request, assign, manage, and monitor assigned resources on a fire. Maps provide incident managers, elected officials, and the general public with critical information during a fire on activities ranging from response management to evacuating communities under immediate threat. Using ArcGIS for seamless data sharing, improved communications, and more efficient resource management during a wildland fire incident can help save lives and protect property.

Apply location analytics to fire suppression

Resource management

Inventorying, managing, deploying, and tracking resources are essential for an effective wildland fire response. With GIS, fire suppression and support assets can be queried based on resource type and location to find the closest available resource for a timelier response. When en route or in the field, resource tracking provides real-time awareness of team members and assets on the fireground to provide for firefighter safety.

Two firefighters standing near a firetruck with a fire in the distance

Incident situational awareness

Maintaining situational awareness is critical to effective response operations. An integrated, real-time, location-based solution makes it easy for incident commanders to monitor changing conditions as they happen, brief operations staff and the public immediately in real time, and make better-informed decisions that can save lives and property. Location intelligence provides the powerful mapping and analytics capabilities that allow fire personnel to see what and where things are happening at the moment they occur.

Wildfire operations map

Imagery management and exploitation

Drone, aircraft, and satellite deployed sensors provide views of our planet from every possible vantage point, creating massive volumes of near real-time information about conditions on the ground. Imagery can see through smoke, identify hot spots on the ground, provide situational awareness, and help communicate impacts after a fire passes. GIS allows analysts to interpret and exploit imagery to determine areas of change or damage and create dynamic desktop, web, and mobile applications to see and share where you need to act. Artificial intelligence (AI) functionality allows GIS specialists to easily create digital map layers, like road networks, building footprints, and land cover, while also classifying and labeling features like damaged buildings or roads blocked by debris.

Desktop and tablet showing satellite imagery of a fire

Public information

Residents need access to information before, during, and after an incident to assess their personal risk and determine when to act. But information without context is hard to understand. Esri puts critical information in the context of location—where roads are closed, where evacuation zones are located, and where to shelter or meet up when needed. GIS supports an agency's public information program with visual data. Communicate to the public with an authoritative voice using powerful, detailed, digital maps designed to scale when the public and media need them most.

Desktop, tablet, and smart phone showing fire maps and information

Damage assessment

Following a wildfire, it's important for firefighters, local government leaders, utility company staff, and others to assess the damage caused when the fire moved across the landscape. Assessment teams use mobile GIS to collect essential data such as destroyed structures and impacts to habitat, vegetation, and slope. This data can be mapped, inventoried, and communicated to command personnel using maps and dashboards that read this information in real time. The ability to collect field data, which may be coming from a variety of teams in disparate locations, and integrate it into a central location can expedite rehabilitation planning.

Fire damage assessment survey


#FireMappers monitor quickly spreading wildfires

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