A new feature has been added to Google Maps to help protect against wildfires in the United States. Users can now see the boundaries of the fire and be notified if they are in a danger zone.
Wildfires continue to spread in parts of the United States, affecting the states of California and Colorado the most. So Google has launched a new tool to help people stay on top of whether they are threatened by wildfires. Now Google search queries will not only contain news and alerts-users will also be able to see the border of fires on a map. The app will send a notification to the user if he gets too close to the border of the fire.
The information is updated every hour. To ensure that people receive the most accurate information possible, Google uses the analytical tools of the Google Earth Engine and image monitoring provided by the four GOES satellites of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These satellites can see huge plumes of smoke and heat spots that indicate areas of fire.
Engadget notes that these Google tools are not new, and the search giant tested the feature during last year’s wildfire season involving emergency responders from California and Colorado. However, as the area of the fires has increased this year, the tool may become even more useful.
The fires became so widespread that California authorities decided to evacuate 100,000 residents. Due to the dense smoke, visibility is almost zero, and the strong wind rapidly spreads the flame. Rescuers noticed more than 30 active fires.