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US Wildfire Data

As you may have heard, there are three wildfires burning close to Flagstaff, Arizona where I live, the largest being a monster blaze on the east side of the San Francisco Peaks. Data on the extent and coverage area of the fire has been hard to find in local media, so I did a hunt on the Internet for the data. A lot harder to find than I thought it would be, especially in GIS-friendly format. Here are some of the resources I found:

Active Fire Mapping Program: A US Forest Service site.  Lots of promising links, but none of them were fully up-to-date, the WMS links were all dead, and the “Interactive Fire Detection Viewer” was inoperative (thanks, ArcIMS!).

SSD Fire Detection Program Viewer: From NOAA’s Satellite Services Division. Somewhat more useful than the previous link; has a working map viewer with multiple data layers, including smoke plumes and up-to-date fire locations.


But there doesn’t seem be an easy way to export the data in GIS-friendly format. There’s a download button, but it only gives the options of graphic and text data export, and the text data is in a very-unfriendly non-standard format.

GeoMAC Wildfire Information: Geospatial Mult-Agency Coordination Wildland Fire Support site, put together by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. By far the best site I found for current wildfire info. Note: You may need to enable pop-ups for this site.

First off, it has a working map viewer with understandable/relevant data layers. Here’s the current map viewer, with a more classic map-layer approach:


The beta viewer offers more background map layers, including satellite imagery, street maps and topo maps:


There are also links to GIS-friendly shapefiles, Google Earth KML files with current fire perimeter boundaries:


And a Quick View Active Perimeters buttons for a fast fire map, with legend:

Schultz-6_21_2010 (1) legend

HT to Dan Garcia for the GeoMAC site.

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