Keith at Xasauan Today is offering great local coverage of the Basin Complex Fire. Keith has intimate knowledge of the back country of Big Sur and is using Google Earth with Forest Service KML overlays to highlight firefighter movements and fire activity.
This is ground breaking local reporting. What Keith is doing could be a template for blogging local disasters in the future.
You have to try Google Earth to comprehend how powerful the software is. I have spent a few hours “in” the Ventana Wilderness and Los Padres National Forest via Google Earth over the past few days. Once you master the controls you find the program allows you to maneuver through canyons to ridge tops, then turn around, stop and look, study the elevation then pan out for a birds eye view. My review doesn’t do the program justice.
I’ve come to another conclusion.
If national incident command teams are not already using this or similar programs they should be. I see a day everyone in the field will sport a GPS enabled handheld like an iPod. If all resources, including hand crews, engines, division supervisors, dozers, strike team leaders and spotters carried such devices commanders could follow their movements real (or near real) time for safety or tactical reasons.
I’m getting carried away but I have seen the future, it’s a safer and more efficient tech driven future.