Google launches worldwide wildfire tracking tool

Google has rolled out its wildfire layer to Maps globally, building on its wildfire boundary map that was rolled out US-wide last year.

The new mapping feature is designed to keep communities safe and educated and to help them make quick, informed decisions during times of emergency. The new feature will enable users to see what wildfires may be active in their location – indicated by a red and white flame icon. Tapping on the virtual marker will bring up links to emergency websites, any evacuation information from local Government and useful phone numbers.

Expansion of the tool means that further details about the fire – such as containment, how many acres have been burned, and when information was last updated – will be available at a later date. At present, all major fires will be reported. In the US, data provided by the National Interagency Fire Center enables more in-depth reporting to the tool. Google plans to provide the same level of detail to more countries, starting with Australia in the next few months.

Just last month a 109-strong fire fighting crew flew home from Canada where they’d been offering up their assistance in fighting wildfires.

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