IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Keeping track of how a wildfire progresses is getting easier. The Western Fire Chiefs Association has created a new interactive map that will let people know when and where fire crews are getting dispatched to wildfires.
Vice President of the WFCA, Mark Niemeyer says this project came from seeing a need.
"One of the things we recognized throughout our states in the west is that we didn't have a really good community outreach notification process. How great would it be that folks that live up in there to know immediately when we are being dispatched to a wildfire threat."
The map pulls data from the US Forest Service via National Interagency Fire Center IRWIN feed, and 911 Dispatch data via PulsePoint to
track the location of the wildfire as they start and while they’re burning. The WFCA Fire Map is the first map
of its kind to pull such data from 911 Dispatch in relevant areas.
It is also the only map designed for use on a mobile phone. The Fire Map allows a user to identify their location on the map and see where they are in relation to wildland fires.
Niemeyer says the map, as it is now, is just the beginning.
"We have three more phases already planned to enhance that to include the opt in for text notifications and even more descriptions about how that fire is moving and the pace at which it is moving and eventually working with local jurisdictions."
The WFCA Fire Map is a working partnership between WFCA, PulsePoint Foundation, the US Forest Service, and Mapbox.
You can find the map here.