Interactive Map of the California Wildfire

A tool for understanding the geography of this massive blaze

Mapping firm Esri has today released an interactive map of the California Rim Fire, which is now in its 12th day. In the map above, you can explore the fire's geography -- its invasion of Yosemite National Park, its encroachment upon the Hetch Hetchy reservoir which supplies the Bay Area's water supply, and its proximity to a cluster of Toulumne county communities, many of which are under evacuation orders.

The fire has burned more than 185,000 acres and is set to become the sixth largest in the state's history. Containment, the Los Angeles Times reports, is at 23 percent, up from 20 percent yesterday.

According to UC Davis ecologist Mark Schwartz, who studies fire conditions in the Sierras, such extensive and destructive blazes are likely to become more common in the future. As CBS Sacramento reports:

“We’ve seen temperatures increasing in the Sierra, particularly warmer night time temperatures, and that resulted in decreased snowpack,” said Schwartz.

The dry snowpack leads to bone dry and brittle brush for flames to devour. It’s something seen in the Rim Fire for more than a week.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Technology

Just In