Google Maps recently launched a new wildfire boundary map in both its Maps app and in Google Search that allows you to track the movement of wildfires in near real time.
The new wildfire boundary map pulls data from trusted government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Google Earth on an hourly basis to show users’ the location of ongoing wildfires, as well as their movements over time.
Needless to say, the new wildfire tracking feature is not only useful, but it can also be lifesaving if there’s a wildfire near you.
To easily find information about the size, locations, and boundaries of fires in the U.S., you can Google it, or you can use the Google Maps app on your Android, iPhone, or iPad device. It’s worth noting that the wildfire tracking tool is also available on Google Maps for desktop, so if you don’t have a mobile device at hand, then you can just use that instead.
How to Track Wildfires on Google Maps
To find out more about nearby wildfires using Google search, simply open your favorite web browser on mobile or desktop and navigate to Google.com. Alternatively, you can also open the Google app on your Android or iOS device and search for “wildfire near me.” And if you happen to know the name of a wildfire, then you can also search for it by name to see official updates right on Google’s search results page.
You will see the latest news as well as other important information pertaining to the fire. And if you scroll down, you’ll see a map highlighting all the affected area. Of course, this is just a map preview, but you can tap on “See More on Google Maps” to get a good overview of what’s really going on.
In the end, all roads lead to the Google Maps application because that’s where the meat and potatoes are. To save some time, you can open the Maps app right away instead of going through the search results (unless you’re looking for news stories, which may also help in getting an assessment of the situation).
If you’re going to use Google Maps to see fires near you, this is what you need to do:
- Open the Maps app.
- Type the name of a wildfire in the search bar or the name of a town that has a nearby fire.
- Tap “Search.”
Google Maps will now highlight the affected areas by outlining them with red dashed lines.
Additionally, you can also get the latest news and other important information about the wildfire directly from the Google Maps app. Simply tap the information card to see the latest updates from around the country.
What do you think about Google’s new wildfire tracking feature? Let us know in the comments below.