Whether you're fleeing the flames or trying to grasp the blazes' scope, Google's maps can help.
The California fires burned for a fifth day Thursday, scorching the Earth, destroying homes and businesses, causing the deaths of at least 29 people, and leaving more than 400 missing. Blazing across Northern California as well as near Anaheim in Southern California, the fires are difficult to keep track of. Thankfully Google Maps has released a California fire map that lists updates on the various blazes and a Google Crisis Map with information about air quality, shelters, and more.
Google’s 2017 Statewide Fire Map for California lists all the active fires in the state, and is a good way for people not in the midst of the smoke to get a better understanding of the challenges currently facing the Golden State.
Clicking or tapping on fires on the map reveals the current condition of each individual blaze, information that is pulled directly from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). For example, one of the biggest blazes, the Atlas Fire, is listed as just 3% contained and 43,762 acres burned, as of this writing.
The Google Crisis Map (embedded below) is an excellent resource for people closer to the California fires. Named the Tubbs Fire map, the resource’s information spreads out well beyond that one, massive Napa and Sonoma County blaze (also known as California’s Wine Country). Showing topology, traffic, and shelters, this is the map you’ll want handy to escape danger. In addition to the fire information, shelters in California are updating their profiles through this map, displaying whether they accept pets, if they need supplies, and if they full up and no longer accepting the displaced. For a full-screen version of the Google Crisis Map, click here.
With the wind fanning the flames of the California fires, causing some blazes to grow and others to merge, these two dynamic maps are worth bookmarking, so you can stay up to date with the latest updates from affected areas on northern California.