The Fort McMurray Wildfire

On May 1, 2016, a wildfire started near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. On May 3, According to Wikipedia, it swept through the community, destroying more than 2,900 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history.

Google Earth does not yet have any imagery of the event, but various imagery providers have captured and shared imagery.

Terra Bella
Google’s Terra Bella (formerly Skybox Imaging) captured the event and the imagery has been shared via this map on Google Crisis Response.


Google Crisis Response page for the Fort McMurray wildfire.

Be sure to check the layers for different dates.

You can download Terra Bella imagery here. It is shared with the CC-BY-SA which allows you to do what you like with it on condition you give appropriate attribution.

before
after

May 3rd and May 5th, Beacon Hill, Fort McMurray. Terra Bella imagery.

To see the above images in Google Earth download this KML file.

Planet Labs
Planet Labs has captured imagery of the event. Read more about it on their blog. There are a number of ways to download the imagery. We chose to download the three zip files from this page totalling 4 Gb. Each zip file contains a number of tiles, which can be drag and dropped into Google Earth Pro with ease.


Planet Labs imagery showing Fort McMurray on May 6th, 2016.

For a low resolution version of the May 6th imagery from Planet Labs download this KML file (17 Mb).

Airbus Defence & Space
Airbus Defence & Space has an image in its gallery here, which it says was captured by the SPOT 6 or SPOT 7 satellite. You can download it from that page to put into a Google Earth overlay. However, it does not cover Fort McMurray itself and is about 20 km to the east.

Global News has this article which features more Airbus Defence & Space imagery, this time captured by the Pleiades satellites.

DigitalGlobe
DigitalGlobe has captured some false colour imagery, which is featured, with before and after comparisons, in this article and on the DigitalGlobe blog

Landsat
The Wikipedia page on the wildfire features a Landsat 7 image showing the characteristic stripes we talked about last week.

Landsat 8 has an image captured on May 15th that clearly shows the burn scar.

Landsat 8 image showing the burn scar.

To see it in Google Earth download this KML file (low resolution and cropped).

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.



Comments

  1. Charles says:

    Would be nice to have a perimeter shape file or the kml of same Does Canada use the same perimeter software as the USA?

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