Posted October 24, 2007 1:02 pm by with 4 comments

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Google Maps and Google Earth are helping to organize information and images from the wildfires in Southern California. So far more than 373,000 acres of land has been burned and 350,000 homes evacuated.

Google Maps shows burn zones, evacuated areas, evacuation centers, safe areas, and closed roads. There are also pictures and videos. You can get a live stream of news online from radio station KPBS and they are also posting information on Twitter. Here is the KPBS map.

It’s amazing that people are creating the news and contributing – putting up the maps and keeping them updated. Newspapers and television stations are keeping people informed. We get our news so many different ways. Californians are checking the maps to see how close the fires are getting to their homes.

The Google Earth Blog details the fires from space including imagery from NASA and the US Forest Service.

  • Its unfortunate whats happening in California. However, your post points out some cool methods of information being spread about.

  • Brandle Thorpe

    Hi Janet;

    There is a company in Australia called Telepathx that is trialing cheap wireless fire sensors in conjunction with Google earth maps to create an early wanrning systems for fire fighters, it providing virtual and real time fire monitoring and mapping.

    Evidently as with the current fires in California many fires in Australia are started from faulting power lines.

  • Brandle Thorpe


    I just got off the phone with the guys at Telepathx, evidently this system can detect power outages, bushfire ignitions, auto accidents while symultainiously monitoring home alarm systems.

    They are planning to build a multi billion dollar wireless sensor network to bring intelligence to the energy network here in the states. I hope some of our fire people get on to this because it does so many good things.

    Getting to the fire sooner just makes sense.

  • God speed all the fire fighting operations, and thanks to all the agencies and individuals coming together to contribute in all the ways that they can.God Bless.