California Fires – June 2008

[UPDATE November 2008: If you’re looking for maps from the November 2008 fires (Sayre Fire, Tea Fire, etc.) read this post for detail and links to view maps in Google Earth for better 3D data.]
[UPDATE October 2008: The October 2008 fires in San Fernando Valley can be seen in another map for Google Earth/Maps from the LA Times. Read the details and links to the maps here.]
[UPDATE July 13, 2008: Here is a new picture from NASA showing the fires on July 11, 2008.]
California Fires June 25 - 2008 in Google EarthGoogle Earth and Maps are useful ways to get current information for events like the fires raging in California right now. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection made a Google My Map that showed the current locations of fires. But, the Governor’s office has just created a new map that has more current information. Unfortunately, the new map doesn’t yet have a Google Earth link, so we can’t view it in GE yet. President Bush has just declared a state of emergency in California due to the fires. Google has taken a medium resolution satellite photo from NASA and put it in Google Earth so you can see the evidence of the fires as seen from space (taken on June 25th). I will update this post with other GE maps when they become available. via Google Lat Long Blog
USFS Fire Maps in Google EarthUS Forest Service Active Fires Map – The USFS has a web site dedicated to tracking active fires. They use a combination of satellites from space which detect the fires, and combine that with ground-based information to produce the maps. All data points are placemarks with further information. Check out the fire map for the continental US which includes the California fires.

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. OES has added a KML feed on the Fire page. The feed will continue to be refined over the next 48 hours until I can learn all of the code. This is data driven, expect updates at least twice a day.

  2. Every year these fires exist eh? Good to see you can keep an eye on what’s going on with these tools.

  3. joel ford says:

    hmmm…i don’t remember fires quite like this….not this many of them, all at once, i mean

  4. If you visit our MODIS Today website at
    you can the latest MODIS image over California updated in real-time. Look for the “Open in Google Earth” link at top right. Once you have loaded the KML file in GE, it will check our server every 10 minutes for any image updates. This allows you to see the latest image from *today* as soon as it becomes available.

  5. paul bridgman says:

    im intrested in finding out if i could get live arial for a certain date and aproximate time.past tense.see i seen casey anthony’s car some where and would like to see if its around on would be in the national forest.any ideas?maybe you know a trick or two.ocala national forest state road 19 8/10th of a mile north of highway 40.between 9:00 and 10:30 on june 25th.if you know how to get this email me at

  6. Alan George says:

    I saw these on my California Vacations. They were incredible. Any live pictures?

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