The LA Times put together a Google Maps map of the Station Fire (or La Canada fire) in the Los Angeles area which you can view in Google Earth in 3D right here . Google Earth is a great tool for getting the full perspective on where a fire is at and what the terrain looks like around the fire. Not only that, but you can load recent satellite imagery overlayed in GE to see where the fire and smoke are going. That’s what GEC member ‘Hill’ posted in this overlay . NASA’s MODIS satellites group are have a shot from 30-August – see here – they are now supporting KML overlays on the page.
Fire Tracking – Discovered this collection of Google Earth files showing up-to-date fire information on a global basis based on data from NASA’s Modis satellite system. The work is done by the University of Maryland’s FIRMS (Fire Information for Resource Management). The link shows a page where you can select different regions around the Earth. You can choose 24 hour, 48 hour, and a time series for 48 hours (a time animation). They also have a network link for the whole world. Very handy way to find out where the fires are. Watch out for the Africa fire folder though…there are LOTS of fires there!
US 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.