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Long time partner, NAPSG (the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS), has requested GISCorps volunteer support for the 2020 wildfire season. NAPSG has created a Wildfire Initial Attack ArcGIS Online Experience which will serve as the basis for this pilot project.

Wildfire initial attack is a dynamic period of time where information is gathered from disparate sources, and it can be difficult to rely on a single source of information, state- or region-wide. The goal of this project is to have skilled GIS volunteers on stand-by during times of high fire danger (i.e. red flag warnings). Volunteers will work in conjunction with CEDR Digital volunteers who are experts in social media mining. CEDR will help quickly and accurately map and verify wildfire starts based on reports found in the news, chatter on social media, and information from agency sources.

Once mapped, the outward-facing application will provide vetted information to the public pointing them to the best and most appropriate source for updates. The map is not meant to replace agency information. The map is used to help drive the public to the best available source of information. We do this by putting a point on the map where the fire started and link to the agency website and/or agency map whenever this is available. This effort will complement the newly available public IRWIN feed (see the Esri blog post for more information Improve Your Wildfire Maps with These New Layers).

Twenty-three volunteers have been recruited across nine Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACC). Each GACC team will coordinate with each other in Slack on scheduling and mapping during red flag conditions.

The Landing Page built by NAPSG using Esri’s Experience Builder includes:

  • A full description of the workflow with links to sources
  • Open access to the Initial Attack Survey. While the team hopes to stay on top of all starts during red flag warnings, the Survey is open to all to post new fires if we miss something. A GISCorps member will review/approve ASAP. 
  • Open access to the Public Map and vetted Public Layer that can be used independently in custom apps. This app is only meant for initial attack information.
  • Password-protected access to the Admin App for the pre-vetted GISCorps volunteer team

Volunteers by GACC

Southern California

  • Chrissy Livergood
  • Dawn Hutchinson
  • John Schweisnger
  • Dustin McGrew
  • Jonathan Robinson

Northern California

  • Stephen Lai
  • Cassie Hansen
  • Keith Johnson
  • Brigit Anderson
  • Ashley Cruz


  • Eric Shreve
  • Sandi Mitchell
  • T. Monicque Lee

Rocky Mountain

  • John Watermolen
  • Micah Lott

Northern Rockies

  • Bobbi Johnson

Great Basin

  • Shawna Bjorgan
  • Heather Taylor

Pacific Northwest

  • Kevin C Wyckoff
  • Robyn Pepin
  • Curtis Day


  • Darlene Pardiny
  • Joseph M. Veneziano


  • Erin Dudley
  • Danny E Oliva

Paul Doherty is the NAPSG Project Manager with Adam Fackler serving as the NAPSG Tech Lead. German Whitley and Erin Arkison are managing the project for GISCorps.


Explore this mission’s objectives and methods in the #FireMappers Story Map:

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