Imagery & resources for LA wildfires

Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 4:10 PM


My wife and I were planning a trip to visit a friend in Pasadena for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. We've been hearing about the huge Station Fire burning in the nearby hills, and have been diligently searching for maps and news with the latest updates. For us, it's a mere matter of deciding whether we'll hop in the car tomorrow, but for many of you out there, the latest update on the fire's progress will help you keep tabs on loved ones or perhaps even your own property and safety. That's why a cross-team group at Google has launched a California Wildfires landing page, with:

  • a My Maps map from the Los Angeles Times tracking the latest position of the fire,
  • status updates from the US Forest Service,
  • YouTube videos of the fire,
  • a Google News gadget with latest news and
  • other updates from relevant sources

In addition, our partners at DigitalGlobe have made available some stunning satellite imagery tracking the fires, which you can get by downloading this kml to open within Google Earth.

We also created a time-series of lower resolution imagery from NASA's MODIS Terra satellite. To watch the progression of the fire simply download the KML and click the play button in the upper left hand corner of the Google Earth viewport. You may want to play it more than once to allow the imagery to load if you want a smoother transition during playback. You can also turn individual images on and off.


If you live in the area, please stay safe. Depending on how the winds shift and the continuing heroic work of the firefighters, Laura and I just might see on you on Colorado Blvd. this weekend.