Google California Fires Master Layer

California Fires with Spot Image satellite photo in Google EarthGoogle has produced a network link which is essentially a California Fire master layer . By using a network link it is something you can save in your Places folder which won’t take up any space until you turn it on. It also will automatically update as Google adds new layers of data from various sources. Simply turn on the folders (or layers) of information from sources which interest you. Right now the layer contains:

  • Thermal IR Imagery – Imagery taken by the Predator B unmanned aerial vehicle with thermal infared sensors. Showing the hot spots in areas flown.

  • NASA MODIS Satillite Photos – A series of photos from NASA satellites showing the progression of smoke seen from space coming from the fires.

  • Fire Perimeters – Data maps from San Diego County showing the fire perimeters and locations of fires on specific days. On a related note, I found this San Diego County emergency web site, which has a perimeter fire map for Google Earth which looks very informative.

  • DigitalGlobe – 60cm high-resolution imagery from DigitalGlobe satellites of a portion of the fire area.

  • Spot Image – False color imagery of the fire with 10 meter resolution. This is by far the most dramatic satellite imagery I’ve seen of the fires (as shown in the thumbnail). You can see the flames and smoke quite clearly in a few regions especially on the northern edge.

As said above, Google can add to this layer any time. Either keep the network link in your Places pane, or check back here for more updates. Also, for other fire related info reported earlier, see this post. Also, FortiusOne has posted a collection of datasets and maps related to the California fires at their GeoCommons mapping site.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Mike Beatty says:

    Are there any California Fire Master Layer for Norther California Fires?

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