UAF research center introduces new wildfire map tool

The Alaska Wildfire Tool allows users to search information about burns back to 1940.
A new online map tool from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning allows users to explore current and past wildfires back to 1940.

People interested in the latest wildfire activity now have a new web-based tool to explore current and historic wildfires in Alaska.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning  has launched a new Alaska Wildfires tool. Users can view active and inactive fire locations and perimeters, and explore past wildfires dating back to 1940.

“The idea was to create a tool that would be user-friendly, visually appealing and informative,” said SNAP Operations Lead Tom Kurkowski.

The SNAP team collected data from the Alaska Fire Service, State of Alaska and the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center to provide information layers about wildfires and vegetation.

“We want people to be able to use the tool to better understand wildfire by incorporating factors that affect it,” said Kurkowski.

Users can view each factor individually or all at once. Choose any or all data layers, and the tool instantly displays them on the map.

The tool also provides options for those interested in comparing different data. Use the split/single map feature to compare the data side-by-side. For comparing extreme fire seasons, the tool provides a graph of cumulative acres burned, which compares the current year to other fire seasons starting from 2004.

The SNAP team has also included data sources and placed informative highlights throughout the tool for those interested in learning more about Alaska’s wildfires.

“There are great resources scattered throughout the tool for anyone who wants to read more about different aspects of wildfire or further explore the data,” Kurkowski said.

All the data stored in the tool are available for users to download for further use.