Fighting Wildfires With GeoMac

The GeoMAC web site allows users in remote locations to manipulate map information displays, zoom in and out to display fire information at various scales and detail, including downloading desired information and printing hard copy for use in fire information and media briefings, dispatch offices and coordination centers.

The USGS has a high-tech, real-time way to keep track of wildland fire status across the country. GeoMAC is an internet-based mapping tool operated by the USGS, in partnership with the federal land management agencies, that allows fire personnel and the public to access on-line maps of multi-acre blazes. Incident locations, perimeters, weather data, and near real-time satellite data are integrated with shaded relief, roads, cities and other ‘base’ layer information to give the user a comprehensive view of fire in the United States. Because of the dynamic nature of fire, the site is constantly being updated with new information.

The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group or GeoMAC, is an internet-based mapping tool originally designed for fire managers to access online maps of current fire locations and perimeters in the conterminous 48 States and Alaska. Using a standard web browser, fire personnel can download this information to pinpoint the affected areas. With the growing concern of western wildland fires in the summer of 2000, this application also became available to the public.

In order to give fire managers near real-time information, fire perimeter data is updated daily based upon input from incident intelligence sources, GPS data, infrared (IR) imagery from fixed wing and satellite platforms. The fire maps also have relational databases in which the user can display information on individual fires such as name of the fire, current acreage and other fire status information. Additional data layers like fuel status information, fuel types, aircraft hazard maps, links to remote weather station data and other critical fire analysis information are currently being added to the GeoMAC application. We hope that you find this important information both timely and helpful.