As fire blaze across California, Google is adding wildfire data and warnings to Maps and Search. People driving near an active blaze will see the fire’s boundary, ambient news alerts and road-closure warnings. You can find the same data from your browser by searching things like “California wildfire” or “Pine Gulch fire.”
Wildfires aren’t getting a lot of press this year, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening. Large fires have already engulfed sections of northern and southern California, and The National Interagency Fire Center predicts unusually high fire risks for states across the US. Personal safety and evacuation is more important than ever, especially as some counties face a shortage of firefighters due to COVID-19.
Getting accurate wildfire information can save lives. Of course, it’s always a challenge to find information that’s correct or up-to-date. That’s why Google’s Maps and Search tools are updated hourly with NOAA GOES satellite data. Google processes the GOES satellite data with its Earth Engine platform, generating accurate boundaries for large, small, or spotty fires.
You should see wildfire data on Maps and Search within the next week. Google says that it may roll out wildfire-tracking features to areas outside the US in the future.