This map shows the devastation from the Northern California fires

An interactive map pulling together data from a slew of government agencies is one of the best resources for tracking

An interactive map pulling together data from a slew of government agencies is a popular resource for tracking the series of fires blazing across Northern California. 

You can actually zoom in to see whether a fire blazed down a specific street and pinpoint an address to determine how many miles away a fire is burning.

The aggregation map produced by the National Interagency Fire Center draws the dispatches of fire agencies and departments across the country, NASA and NOAA satellite imagery and data collected by planes with infrared thermal imagery that detects heat.

The result is a resource that uses red, orange and yellow dots to show fires' hot spots and perimeters to depict burn areas.  

"Just because a place is within a perimeter doesn't mean everything in that perimeter has burned," says Sean Triplett, a geospatial engineer with the NIFC. "When you get wind-driven fires like these, they act like tornadoes. You'll have one side of the block that has burned, and another that has not."

The perimeters are updated as firefighters using GPS technology load data into their mobile devices and overnight when airplanes fly over burn areas.

"There's a lag time in the updates, probably about 12 hours on average," Triplett says. 

The satellite data is updated about every four to six hours.

In his 17 years of doing this job, Triplet says this firestorm is among the three or four worst he's seen.

"It's like what happened recently in Gatlinburg, Tennessee," he says. "It seems to be happening more often."

Go directly to the NIFC's map site.

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Article This map shows the devastation from the Northern California fires compiled by www.chron.com