Friday, October 29, 2010

Boulder Canyon Wildfire

Here are some resources for getting the latest information on the October 29 2010 Boulder Canyon Fire. As of Oct 29 at 9.30, there were two fires located approximately 1/4 mile west of Boulder Canyon. The fires are about 10 acres in size and moving north. Currently the fire is burning near Elephant Buttress above Dome Rock on city of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. The most common Twitter hashtag appears to be #boulderfire although #domefire and #bouldercanyonfire are also being used.

Real-time information
Emergency information from Boulder EOC on the Boulder Canyon fires including evacuations
Maps of fire perimeter and evacuation areas (new 5pm Friday, PDF)
Tweets for #domefire OR #boulderfire OR #bouldercanyonfire
Tweet Map for Boulder Canyon Wildfire created by EPIC Colorado
Collaborative Google Map with fire locations and information (see also embedded below)
Alternative Google Map including fire area estimation and evacuation area (also embedded below)
Visionlink map including multiple streams (twitter, etc)
Boulderfire live twitter streams
Firestats page with aggregation of information sources
Xcel Energy Outages Map
Live Video from channel 1
9News Live Webcast
9News slideshow
Daily Camera fire page including maps and videos
INCIWEB - this fire is not there yet, but when it is it will have updates and links to other resources
Boulder County Live Scanner Feeds and Incident Updates - listen live to police and fire radio traffic
Google News updates for the Boulder fire
NIFC National Fire News - only updated periodically but has detailed, official information
WILDCAD - Choose a Colorado site to get dispatch updates

Help for those affected
A call center has been established. Residents can call 303-413-7730 for information.
Sparkplace Forum - dedicated to helping those affected by the fire
FourMileFireHelp - forum for those affected with losing home, animals, food, etc. 

Boulder weather forecast products and warnings

Collaborative Google Map of fire

View Boulder Canyon Fire 10/29/10 in a larger map

Alternate Google Map

View Boulderfire Domefire BoulderCanyonFire in a larger map

Monday, October 11, 2010

Uniden Home Patrol - a new kind of scanner

Radio scanners are playing an interesting role in the use of social media in disasters - for instance people listening to local scanner traffic and tweeting the latest updates. A big boon to this has been the live audio feeds available on Radio Reference. However, we're not always by a computer or able to connect to the internet during an incident, so a radio scanner is an excellent piece of any disaster kit or for anyone interested in keeping up with events. The widespread move by public safety to digital, trunked systems though has meant that programming a radio scanner to work correctly for the area you are in requires pretty high technical skills and a lot of time, and even just choosing the right scanner is complicated (see my post on this). So I'm very happy to see the Uniden HomePatrol-1 come to market. This really is a revolutionary kind of scanner that just about anyone can use. It comes linked with the RadioReference database, so programming the scanner is as simple as typing in your ZIP code and selecting the kinds of broadcast (police, fire, etc) you wish to receive. It does just about any system - analog, digital, vhf, uhf, 800Mhz and so on. It's probably not everyone's cup of tea, but for someone who wants to just get listening with the minimum of hassle, it seems perfect.