Home Natural Hazard Management GIS team to the aid of firefighters in California

GIS team to the aid of firefighters in California

San Diego: A local mapping team has come to the aid of firefighters battling the Felipe and General fires near Ramona in the San Diego county in California recently. The County Fire Authority GIS (Geographical Information Systems) team was busily updating maps showing the fire perimeter, area burn history and topographical land features.

Having the GIS maps are key to their firefighting operation, said California Fire Captain Mike Mohler. “We are fortunate in San Diego County because we have a GIS trailer that can be dispatched right away to a fire,” he added. “Our local GIS person knows the county and already has pre-laid out maps, so we are already ahead of the game when we respond.”

GIS specialists in the San Diego County Fire Authority can report nearly anywhere in the rural county with their GIS trailers and map plotters. The initial map is based on a circle of the fire drawn on a USGS topographical map. Mappers will continue to update the fire perimeters based on data received from firefighters outfitted with GPS devices that record information. In addition, a number of different kinds of maps are used for planning the fire fight.

Besides the active fire line, extinguished and cold areas, bulldozers and hand crew lines where vegetation has been cleared are also mapped, which are updated every 24 hours and are printed as posters for the fire camp.

Source: Ramona Pathc