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.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

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 History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In