As it fires over California, Google adds run data and alerts to Maps and Search. People driving near an active fire will see the boundary of the fire, ambient news warnings and road closure warnings. You can find the same data from your browser by searching for things like “California wildfire”; or “Pine Gulch fire.”
Wildfires are not getting much pressure this year, but that does not mean they are not happening. Major fires have already engulfed parts of northern and southern California, and the National Interagency Fire Center predicts unusually high fire risks for states across the United States. Personal safety and evacuation are more important than ever, especially as some counties are short of firefighters due to COVID-19.
Getting accurate information about wildfires can save lives. Of course, finding information that is accurate or current is always a challenge. This is why Google’s maps and search tools are updated every hour with NOAA GOES satellite data. Google processes GOES satellite data with its Earth Engine platform, creating precise boundaries for large, small, or spotted fires.
You should see running data on maps and search within the next week. Google says it may roll out tracking features to areas outside the United States in the future.