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Publication date: Jul. 6, 2005


A tool used for several years by the pros to track wildfires is now available to journalists. Frequently updated - with claims of "real-time" data by its operator, the US Geological Survey - the Web site provides a convenient way to gather key information on a fire near your audience, or anywhere in the US.

It's made for TV, Web, and print graphics. GeoMAC (an acronym for "Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination") makes it easy to map the ever-changing fire perimeter and surrounding terrain, add layers documenting nearby towns, roads, lakes, and streams, zoom in or out to your desired scale, and find the current acreage burned. It can show a pictorial overview of all wildfires in the US.

There are downloadable instructions for using the Web site, but it's fairly easy to get started by following your intuition. USGS plans to keep adding other types of fire information.

Last revised January 22, 2013

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