Western Fire Chiefs Association Unveils Phase 2 of its Wildfire Map

The first of its kind to incorporate live aircraft tracking, 3D fire map rendering,
and California-specific FIRIS real-time fire mapping

The Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA) announces the introduction of Phase 2 of its Fire Map (https://wfca.com/fire-map), which was released in July of this year. Phase 2 includes 3D map views, real-time active firefighting aircraft reporting, and the State of California-specific Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System (FIRIS). These new introductions provide an even greater level of detail to keep lives, land and property safe.

“Wildfires are often most dangerous when they start,” said Brent VanKeulen, deputy director of the WFCA. “This information will have a significant impact on the speed with which we can get information to the public and will also provide a more detailed and rich level of visual communications to communities in

The WFCA fire map is the first of its kind to integrate real-time flight maps of firefighting aircraft. The Forest Service uses aircraft to track, manage, and fight wildfires. These include aerial surveillance aircraft that communicate with firefighters on the ground, air attack aircraft that coordinate aerial firefighting, tankers capable of delivering up to 8,000 gallons of fire retardant, water shovels, and smoke bridge aircraft. Fire suppression aircraft are represented on the WFCA fire map, with aircraft type, speed and altitude. Clicking on an individual aircraft reveals that aircraft’s recent flight path indicating where current firefighting activity is taking place.

Lead aircraft conducting a fire suppression mission over the Double Creek and Sturgill fires in Oregon – live stream, September 27, 2022: 3:42 pm

The WFCA fire map is also the first to represent wildfire activity in 3D, where the viewer can rotate their point of view around the fire map and see the fire in 360 degrees.

Mosquito Fire in California rendered in 3D

Specific to California, the WFCA Fire Map will integrate fire perimeter data provided by FIRIS (Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System) and will be the first to do so. FIRIS is a public-private partnership that provides real-time intelligence on emerging incidents in California. Funded by the California Office of Emergency Services, the funding supports aircraft, a common operational picture, and a near real-time fire model that is available at the start of emerging incidents.

Manzanita Fire, California perimeter reported via FIRIS hours before any other fire map

“FIRIS provides real-time situational awareness for firefighters on the ground, helping them make critical decisions. I think the same information also helps the public. That is why we have partnered with the WFCA,” said Brian Fennessey, founder of FIRIS, California Fire Chiefs Fire Chief of the Year, and Orange County Fire Authority Chief. FIRIS started in 2019 and uses the Overwatch Imaging platform, which includes an airborne infrared (IR) platform that integrates cutting-edge technologies provided by Aevex Aviation. That data is fed into Interterra’s wildfire decision support software, where WIFIRE retrieves the data for predictive analytics.

About the WFCA
The Western Fire Chiefs Association represents fire-related emergency service organizations throughout the West Coast and Western Pacific Islands. The WFCA is dedicated to protecting people and the environment from the occurrence and results of fires and other natural, technological and man-made emergencies. In July, the WFCA released its Fire Map which pulls data from the US Forest Service via the National Interagency Fire Center IRWIN feed and 911 dispatch data via PulsePoint to track the location of the wildfire. when it starts and while it is burning. The WFCA fire map is the first map of its kind to extract such data from the 911 Dispatch in relevant areas, display live firefighting aircraft, render wildfires in 3D, and is the only fire map that integrates FIRIS where is available in California.