Sep. 5, 2000 Denver -- In response to the devastating wildfires that are burning lands across the West, the U.S. Geological Survey has teamed with federal firefighting agencies and private industry to form the Geo-spatial Multi-Agency Coordination group (GeoMAC), which will assist in prioritizing the use of wildfire suppression resources and provide for public and firefighter safety.
"The initial goal of the GeoMAC is to implement an Internet-based map application to aid in the allocation of firefighting resources to the most critical incidents," said Robert Plantrich, Incident Commander for the GeoMAC. "These maps will enable fire personnel to obtain a quick snapshot of near real-time fire hazards."
GeoMAC integrates advanced digital maps and satellite images of major western fires for use by the wildfire community.
The group is hosted by the USGS Rocky Mountain Mapping Center, and consists of personnel from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Private partners include Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), IBM and Sun Microsystems.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, 1,612,261 acres are currently burning in 84 fires across California, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Over 6,241,982 acres have burned to date.
The site is accessible to the media and public at: http://wildfire.usgs.gov
As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, to contribute to the conservation and the sound economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources, and to enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.
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