Fire season is once again upon us, and living in the forests of Northern Arizona, we hold our collective breath every year while raking pine needles and creating defensible areas around our homes.

Much of the stewardship work that Wilderness Volunteers do each year is in areas that can be affected by wildfire. It’s important for our project leaders and participants to have a way to find out if their trips will be affected by wildfire, and to monitor the status of the fire.

InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident web information management system provided by the US Forest Service. It was developed for wildland fire emergencies, and its mission is to provide the public with a source of incident related information. It includes information on air quality, news releases, maps of affected areas, photographs, evacuations, road closures and current situation info about each wildfire.

We’ve definitely been using InciWeb here with the large Slide fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona. I’ll also use this great tool when preparing for the projects I’m doing this summer.

Another resource is the National Interagency Fire Center and many states also have informational sites for current incidents like the Arizona Interagency Wildfire News site.