Drought and Wildfire Resources
Links to assist Fire Chiefs, Emergency Managers, and all emergency responders in anticipating and planning for drought conditions and wildfire potential.
NYS DEC Fire Danger map
Map of NYS showing the level of fire danger by region.
The U.S. Geological Survey WaterAlert service sends e-mail or text (SMS) messages when certain parameters, as measured by a USGS real-time data-collection station, exceed user-definable thresholds. The development and maintenance of the WaterAlert system is supported by the USGS and its partners, including numerous federal, state, and local agencies.
Real-time data from USGS gages are transmitted via satellite or other telemetry to USGS offices at various intervals; in most cases, once every 1 or 4 hours. Emergency transmissions, such as during floods, may be more frequent. Notifications will be based on the data received at these site-dependent intervals
WaterWatch is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) World Wide Web site that displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past stream flow conditions for the United States. The real-time information generally is updated on an hourly basis. WaterWatch provides stream gage-based maps that show the location of more than 3,000 long-term (30 years or more) USGS stream gages; use colors to represent stream flow conditions compared to historical stream flow; feature a point-and-click interface allowing users to retrieve graphs of stream stage (water elevation) and flow; and highlight locations where extreme hydrologic events, such as floods and droughts, are occurring
Drought is the leading hazard in economic losses each year in the United States. In the summer of 1999, a monitoring tool known as the Drought Monitor was developed to help assess U.S. drought conditions. The Drought Monitor is a collaborative effort between Federal and academic partners, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln National Drought Mitigation Center, the USDA/OCE/WAOB/Joint Agricultural Weather Facility, the NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC, and the NOAA/NESDIS/National Climatic Data Center. Produced on a weekly basis, the Drought Monitor is a synthesis of multiple indices, outlooks, and impacts depicted on a map and in narrative form. The Drought Monitor is released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Why the Drought Monitor?
Tracking drought blends science and art. No single definition of drought works for all circumstances, so people rely on drought indices to detect and measure droughts. But no single index works under all circumstances, either. That's why we need the Drought Monitor, a synthesis of multiple indices and impacts, that represents a consensus of federal and academic scientists. The product will be refined over time as we find ways to make it better reflect the needs of decision-makers and others who use the information.
For more information about the science or impacts of drought, please visit the National Drought Mitigation Center's web site.
Active Fire Mapping
The Active Fire Mapping Program is an operational, satellite-based fire detection and monitoring program managed by the USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Active Fire Mapping program provides near real-time detection and characterization of wildland fire conditions in a geospatial context for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Detectable fire activity across all administrative ownerships in the United States and Canada are mapped and characterized by the program.
The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group or GeoMAC, is an internet-based mapping application 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 view 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.
Wildfire Interactive Maps
Wildland fires are the fastest growing fire threat. To help mitigate this problem, the NESDIS Satellite Services Division (SSD) provides real time environmental satellite data and derived products including the Hazard Mapping System (HMS) Fire and Smoke Product and the Wildfire Automated Biomass Burning Algorithm (WFABBA) product.
When it comes to predicting large-scale wildfires, there is no crystal ballâ€”but there is the Wildland Fire Potential Map. This raster geospatial map allows fire professionals to analyze the burn probability of landscapes on regional and national scales. The map was created by the U.S. Forest Service specifically to show places where fire would be intense and difficult to suppress. Information such as past fire occurrence, likely fire behaviors, and fuel characteristics were all incorporated to help fire professional see even further into the unknowns of the coming fire season.
The WFAS Interactive Map (Wildland Fire Assessment System) is a prototype project by the Fire Behavior Research and Fire Modeling Institute work units at the Missoula Fire Sciences Lab to develop the methods necessary for delivering nationwide observed and 24-hour forecast fire danger maps through a compact web mapping program. The new interface complements the existing static national maps and will provide more system flexibility by allowing users to define their own area of interest, link to weather station data in a tabular format, and perform searches for map features.
National Weather Service Fire Weather Interactive Maps
A key component to the national fire weather page is its interactive map that allows you to examine critical fire weather information at the national level initially, but quickly provide you access to local and regional fire weather data as well.