5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Tuesday, 18 November 2003: 1:30 PM
Web-based Mapping Applications in Response to Wildland Fires
Elizabeth L. Lile, USGS, Denver, CO; and C. Inbau
Poster PDF (714.1 kB)
Wildland fire coordination centers have the difficult task of determining where to position critical wildland firefighting resources. This task is compounded when several large fires occur simultaneously across vast geographic areas. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, over 6.9 million acres burned during the 2002 fire season across the U.S. The best information available to the Multi-Agency Geographic Area Coordination Committees for prioritizing requests for firefighting resources has been the National Situation Report, a daily textual report of large fires updated by NIFC. The use of web-based mapping applications, such as GeoMAC in particular, have shown great success as wildland fire management tools for evaluating and assessing risk and planning resource needs. An unexpected positive result of GeoMAC is the interest shown by the general public about the web site. The GeoMAC website experienced over 1.7 million requests during one day in June 2002.

The USGS developed GeoMAC, and other related web tools, to automatically retrieve spatial and tabular data from a variety of sources on a daily basis. Then, post this information to the web site. GeoMAC uses ArcIMS, ArcSDE and is supported by a redundant, high availability system. By integrating various data sets into a single source and making the information available via the Internet, wildfire managers and the public are able to obtain more information than ever before about the potential risks posed by wildland fires to lives and property.

Supplementary URL: http://www.geomac.gov