California Wildfires Quick Links

California Wildfires Quick Links

Last Update: August 28, 2023

This Quick Links page brings together a collection links useful for emergency managers and business continuity professionals in gaining situational awareness on current incidents and monitoring threat conditions for wildfires. While the focus is on California many of the resources are national in scope. Use the “Jump to Section” to quick navigate between the different sections on the page. A “Jump to” Menu is under each section header.

Page Section: Wildfire Maps   |   Fire Weather   |   Fuels & Fire Threat Potential   |   Wildfire Smoke   |   Employee Safety   |   Additional Resources   |   CAL FIRE and InciWeb Social Media Links

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Wildfire Information

CAL FIRE Current Incidents Page

This site provide a map of active wildfires in California. It does not include smaller local fires under about 10 acres. Generally the wildfire information is updated twice a day (morning and evening), though if CALFIRE releases a notice mid-day it is usually posted when issued prior to the evening update. Also, fires in which CALFIRE is not directly involved such as those on federal lands may be updated less frequently. Check the last updated date on the individual fire pages.

InciWeb Current Incidents

InciWeb focuses on wildfires that involve federal lands. The overview information is available both in a map view and a list view. Usually the wildfire information is updated twice a day (morning and evening), though wildfires in monitoring status may be updated less frequently. Check the current as of date in the incident information section for the individual fires. Large fires on InciWeb have information about the wildfire, news, and announcements, contact information and hours of operation, maps, photographs, and videos.

Geographic Area Coordination Center News & Notes

Predictive Services for the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center and the Southern / Central California Geographic Area Coordination Center maintain a News & Notes pages that provid morning and evening snapshot updates of larger wildfires within their territory.

National Interagency Coordination Center Incident Management Situation Report

This report provides a synopsis of “large” wildfire activity. “Large” fires for this purpose are defined as those over 100 acres in timber fuel models or over 300 acres in grass fuel models. Wildland fires that do not meet large fire criteria, but have a nationally recognized incident management team assigned, are also included. The update frequency depends on the National Preparedness Level. Generally, at Level 1 the updates are once a week on Fridays, at Level 2 it is daily Monday – Friday, and at Level 3 it is daily. The National Wildland Fire Preparedness Levels are dictated by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity, and fire suppression resource availability throughout the country. Archives of the reports are also available. GIS map files for current fires are also available.

National Interagency Fire Center National Fire News

This page provides a list of current wildfires organized by state (scroll down the page a little) with high level overview information and links to active InciWeb fire pages.

Risk Management Assistance (RMA) Dashboard

The RMA Dashboard, created by the Wildland Fire Management Research, Development, and Application, is a series of tabs to products to help line officers, agency administrators, fire managers, incident management teams, area commands, geographic area coordination centers, and multi-agency coordination groups to make more risk-informed decisions to achieve safer and improved outcomes. It has tabs for Incident Stats, Fire Danger by Protective Service Area (PSA), Severe Fire Danger, Fire Weather Matrix, Long-Term Assessments, Season-Ending Analysis, and Smoke.

California Wildfire Situational Awareness Dashboard

This dashboard is maintained by the California Wildfire Forecast and Threat Intelligence Integration Center.

ALERTCalifornia Wildfire Cameras

This page brings together live feeds to more than 1,000 high-definition, pan-tilt-zoom cameras deployed across California, providing a 24-hour backcountry network with near-infrared night vision to monitor disasters such as active wildfires. ALERTCalifornia cameras can perform 360-degree sweeps approximately every two minutes and can view as far as 60 miles on a clear day and 120 miles on a clear night. For live feeds of cameras in other states in the Western US, check out AlertWildfire, which covers Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

FEMA National Watch Center Daily Operations Briefing

This daily briefing provides a high level overview of events FEMA is engaged in and/or monitoring. When there are significant wildfire a Wildfire Summary section is included that provides general information on number of people evacuated and structures threatened/damaged/destroyed.

FEMA Wildfire Incident Journal

This arcgis based Incident Journal provides relevant spatial decision-making support for FEMA leadership and a view into federal information available to the general public. This journal displays data from the National Interagency Fire Center’s Open Data and Incident Reports, as well as the Storm Prediction Center’s Fire Weather Outlooks.

National Interagency Fire Center Geographic Area Coordination Centers in Other Parts of the US

The National Interagency Fire Center divides the US into ten geographic regions. A map of the regions and links to each of the regional Geographic Coordination Centers is available on the Center’s Geographic Areas page. On the regional pages a navigation menu to subpages in generally located in the left side column. Under Predictive Services the Intelligence subpage generally provides links to reports while the Fuels / Fire Danger provides threat outlook information.

Wildfire Maps

CALFIRE Current Incident Map

This map provides an overview of fires over about 10 acres in size that CALFIRE is monitoring.

InciWeb Current Incidents Map

This map includes all current year, not just currently active, wildland fires and US Forest Service prescribed burns.

National Interagency Fire Center Map

This map provides current and historical (current decade) fire perimeter maps along with satellite identified hotspots. Using the layers option in the left side bar you can select/deselect various layers and change the opacity. Using the pencil icon you can add your own layers. To see when perimeter data was last updated you can click on it and see the update date and time.

NASA Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS)

This US/Canada map allows users to interactively browse the full archive of global active fire detections from MODIS and VIIRS. A Global FIRMS map is also available. How quickly fire data is posted once a satellite passes overhead varies by region and usually ranges from within minutes to and around 3 hours. Satellites pass overhead about every 4-5 hours.  By clicking on a fire you get information on the time the data was acquired. NASA has put together a YouTube tutorial on how to use the basic and advanced modes of the maps. Downloadable KMZ and Shapefiles are also available.

NOAA Real Time Satellite Fire Monitoring Images

These images are considered “raw” data, with no analysis of fires and/or smoke. Images are available for Northern California, Southern California, and subregional levels of Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, and the San Joaquin Valley.

For additional GIS map files see links in the Additional Resources section.

Fire Weather

Northern California Predictive Services Fire Weather Webcast

This daily webcast by the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center’s Predictive Services provides an overview of weather conditions that can affect wildfire activity. While the focus is on the Northern California operations area, it also includes some infomration for the Southern California region.

National Weather Service Fire Weather Map

This map displays hazards area of Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches. It is important to note that Warnings and Watches on the map appear when issued and may have effective times/date slightly in the future. There is a California specific map as well as a National map. For the California map you can use the layers option in the upper right corner you can select various geographical boundary overlays: Emergency Communication Center Dispatch Area (ECCDA), Counties, or National Weather Service Fire Weather Zones. For the National map various options are available under the Boundaries tab.

NOAA Storm Prediction Center’s Fire Weather Outlook Maps

These maps highlight elevated, critical, and extreme fire danger areas along with regions with a probability for isolated or scattered dry thunderstorms. Maps are available for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3-8 Outlooks.

California Wildfire Threat and Intelligence Integration Center’s Daily Intel Briefing 

This briefing, updated daily from various sources, provides a one-page information sheet for quick assessment of daily fire potential.

U.S. Day 3-7 Hazards Outlook

This map depicts possible impending weather-related hazards during the medium range 3-7 day period. The outlook is only updated Monday-Friday. Towards the bottom of the page are links to download Shapefiles and KML.

Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index

This index categorizes Santa Ana winds based on anticipated fire potential and provides a 6-day outlook. This product is produced by the USDA Forest Service and Predictive Services

National Weather Service Fire Weather Snoopers

These pages by the National Weather Service highlight weather stations that are “flirting” with fire weather conditions and/or have reached red flag warning conditions.

Additional weather resources are available on the CRA Weather Quick Links Page.

Fuels & Fire Threat Potential

Current Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisories

This page from the National Interagency Coordination Center lists the Current Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisories in effect for the US. Advisories are issues when exceptional or extreme circumstance pose a risks to firefighter or public safety resulting from abnormal fuels and/or fire behavior. Conditions that could be reasonably expected normally do not warrant a Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory. The page also has a link to the the Fuels & Fire Danger Briefing recording.

7-Day Significant Fire Potential Outlooks

These outlook are generated for each of the National Interagency Fire Center’s Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACC). They looks at the “Significant Fire Potential” for each Protective Service Area (PSA) within a region. “Significant Fire Potential” is defined as “the likelihood that a wildland fire event will require mobilization of additional resources from outside the area in which the fire situation originates”. It is a forecast of Significant Fire Potential only, which is a function of fuel conditions, weather, and resource availability. It assesses the daily probability for occurrence of a new large fire and/or the daily potential for significant new growth on existing fires. There are a couple of different ways to view the Significant Fire Potential Outlooks: National Map (this map has links to zoom into the various GACCs), Northern California GACC text narrative, Southern/Central California GACC text narrative, and static pdf maps for the contiguous US. To learn more about the specifics of each of the color designations on the map see the Explanation of the 7-Day Significant Fire Potential Product.

Energy Release Component (ERC)

The ERC is a number related to the available energy (BTU) per unit area (square foot) within the flaming front at the head of a fire. Since this number represents the potential “heat release” per unit area in the flaming zone, it can provide guidance to several important fire activities. It may also be considered a composite fuel moisture value as it reflects the contribution that all live and dead fuels have to potential fire intensity. Charts are available for each of the Protective Service Areas in Northern California and Southern/Central California.

Burning Index

The burning index is an estimate of the potential difficulty of fire containment as it relates to the flame length at the most rapidly spreading portion of a fire’s perimeter. Charts are available for each of the Protective Service Areas in Northern California and Southern/Central California.

100-Hour Fuel Moisture

Computed from 24–hour average conditions composed of day length, hours of rain, and daily temperature/humidity ranges. It can also be used as a very rough estimate of the average moisture content of the forest floor from three-fourths inch to four inches below the surface. Charts are available for each of the Protective Service Areas in Northern California and Southern/Central California.

National Dead Fuel Moisture Maps

Dead fuel moisture responds solely to ambient environmental conditions and is critical in determining fire potential. Dead fuel moistures are classed by timelag. A fuel’s timelag is proportional to its diameter and is loosely defined as the time it takes a fuel particle to reach 2/3’s of its way to equilibrium with its local environment. 10-hour are fuels that are 1/4″ to 1″ in diameter; 100-hour are 1″ to 3″ in diameter; and 1,000-hour are 3″ to 8 ” in diameter. Current Condition (observed yesterday), Forecast, and archived maps are available for each timely.

Lightning Ignition Efficiency Map

Lightning fires are started by strikes to ground that have a component called a continuing current. All positive discharges have a continuing current, and about 20% of negative discharges have one. Ignition depends on the duration of the current and the kind of fuel the lightning hits. On this map the ignition efficiency on a 1 km pixel is given on a per discharge basis. That is, if the efficiency is high, then about 9 discharges will result in one ignition; if the efficiency is extreme, about 5 or fewer discharges will result in an ignition.

Seasonal (4-Month) Significant Fire Potential Outlooks

These outlook are generated for each of the National Interagency Fire Center’s Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACC). They looks at the “Significant Fire Potential” for each region over the next four months, categories into above normal, normal, and below normal. New outlooks are usually released the first of the month (if the first falls on a holiday or during the the winter months a weekend the release may be pushed to the next workday). Northern California, which includes the Hawaii region, and the Southern/Central California region each produce their own seasonal outlook. There is also a National that covers all the GACC regions. The National Interagency Fire Center’s Predictive Services also releases a monthly podcast briefing covering the seasonal outlook. On a somewhat different release schedule there is a North American Seasonal Fire Assessment and Outlook that covers Canada, United States, and Mexico.

Wildfire Smoke

AirNow Map

The EPA’s AirNow Map includes data for air quality monitors in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. For the Current Air Quality the “Ozone and PM” includes data for ozone, PM2.5, and PM10. Each hour the highest NowCast AQI among the three pollutants is displayed. The Air Quality Forecast is a prediction of the day’s overall AQI issued by state and local air quality forecasters.


PurpleAir is a community system of PM (10, 2.5, 1.0) low-cost sensors measuring particulate matter. Data from the sensors is made publicly available and is viewable in an online map. Sensors mounted indoors have a black circle. When clicking on a sensor a 10-min average trend chart appears covering the last 72 hours.

NOAA Hazard Mapping System (HMS) Fire and Smoke Product

The smoke density information provided in this map is qualitatively described using light, medium, and heavy labels that are assigned based on the apparent thickness (opacity) of the smoke in the satellite imagery. Every day around 7-8 am Eastern Time a new HMS session is started creating a fresh map for North America. Since the analysis generally requires a sequential set of satellite images to help distinguish smoke from clouds and other atmospheric aerosols, the first smoke analysis for the current day is usually produced around the local noon time – until then, only fire detection points may be available. Additional smoke analysis occurs throughout the day until sunset or as observation conditions permit.

California Smoke Information

This site is a voluntary effort by public agencies to coordinate and aggregate information for California communities affected by smoke. It also includes links to all of the local air quality districts in California.

Additional resources are available on CRA’s Wildfire Smoke Quick Links Page

Employee Safety

Wildfires and wildfire smoke can pose risks to employees. Cal/OSHA has a regulation (section 5141.1) to protect employees exposed to wildfire smoke.

Cal/OSHA Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions

Cal/OSHA Frequently Asked Questions – Wildfire Hazards

CalOES Wildfire Health Information


Also see the CRA Wildfire Smoke Quick Links Page

CAL FIRE and InciWeb Social Media Links

InciWeb (Federal):  X (Twitter)     Instagram

US Forest Service – California: X (Twitter)

CALFIRE: Facebook   X (Twitter)   YouTube    Instagram     Flickr

CALFIRE PIO: X (Twitter)

CALFIRE Units (Map of CALFIRE Administrative Units)

Amador-El Dorado Unit (AEU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Butte County Unit (BTU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Fresno Kings Unit (FKU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Humboldt-Del Norte Unit (HUU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Lassen-Modoc Unit (LMU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit (MMU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Mendocino Unit (MEU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Nevada Yuba Placer Unit (NEU): Facebook     Instagram

Riverside Unit (RRU): Facebook

San Benito-Monterey Unit (BEU): Facebook

San Bernardino-Inyo-Mono Unit (BDU): Facebook     Instagram

San Diego Unit (MVU): Facebook

San Luis Obispo Unit (SLU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit (CZU): Facebook

Santa Clara Unit (SCU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Shasta Trinity Unit (SHU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Siskiyou Unit (SKU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit (LNU): Facebook     X (Twitter)     YouTube

Tehama-Glenn Unit (TGU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Tulare Unit (TUU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit (TCU): Facebook     X (Twitter)

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