Farmers and ranchers have a new ally as they battle wildfires: InciWeb.org, an inter-agency, all-risk incident web information management system available to the public.
This tool gives anyone the ability to monitor and track incidents as they occur. The information provided can help prepare producers on the front line of an approaching inferno or enable them to monitor incidents that could impact friends, family and neighbors.
The site includes details, announcements, closures, photographs and maps for every incident in the country.
For example, the High Park Fire near Fort Collins, Colo., made national headlines this month as it blossomed into a behemoth inferno. But where does it stand now? InciWeb shows that the fire has now impacted more than 80,000 acres and is 45 percent contained, though the growth potential for it is considered extreme in the difficult terrain. Nearly 2.2 million gallons of water have been dropped on the fire as of Saturday, and the fire has caused an estimated $30 million in damage. There are currently 2,037 personnel working to extinguish the flames.
Though the site was originally intended for fire-related incidents, it can also update the public on other emergency events, such as hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and tornadoes. In addition to the web site, InciWeb also has a Twitter account and RSS feeds.