[Talk-us] Colorado Wildfire Update

Russell Deffner russdeffner at gmail.com
Mon Jul 1 05:59:47 UTC 2013

Dear HOT and OSM-US communities,


I was really hoping to send an up-beat, up-date regarding the Colorado, USA
wildfire situation and had just successfully posted a light-hearted diary
entry.  Almost immediately after posting that, I heard horrible news.


I am once again saddened to report more wildfire fatalities, this time
Firefighters battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona, USA; see story in
BBC[1] <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23123817>  .  In Colorado,
the situation has improved for the eastern half of the state but not much
for the west in what's going on a fourth week of extreme fire conditions.


On behalf of myself, with the support of HOT; I will continue to work on
communication with emergency services personnel to see if/how HOT volunteers
(and general contributors to OSM) can assist firefighters and other first
responders perform their daily heroism.  I cannot say that we will ever
prevent a tragic event, and only the beginnings of conversations are
underway to work toward making that happen; however if I can do anything to
prevent another life lost, I will try.


Wildfires may not be humanitarian disaster on the scale of other current
events, but I believe they are also those which are relatively escapable by
people (to the degree that any rapidly developing disaster can be); and I
think maps are an incredibly valuable tool and can assist in that (not to
mention how maps can help with mitigation and preparedness).  However, I'm
getting spent myself having spent a lot of time mapping and coordinating the
Colorado mapping response[2]
<http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/2013_Colorado_Wildfire_Season>  over the
last nearly three weeks; it's actually very late here as I write this, so my
apologies for typos and rambling such as this.


That said, and to inform Hotties of another suggestion that came out of the
Activation working group meeting, we came up with the notion of a
'coordinator', separate but would work with 'liaisons', that would
coordinate launching or up-grading a humanitarian mapping project to an
activation and be a point of contact for interested parties.  I would
volunteer to be a 'coordinator trainee' if there maybe becomes a 'US West
Fire Season' activation request (details in AWG wiki[3]
ivation> ).


Lastly, any Arizona or other fire prone region, based mapper(s) who want to
use the CO coordination wiki as a template, please feel free.  Or contact me
as I'd be willing to expand the current wiki to include your areas/fires of
concern; which we don't necessarily need an official Activation for.  I'd
also be willing to remain as the general contact, etc. as long as you can
update the specifics of the additional fires.



Russell Deffner

russdeffner at gmail.com


[1]Firefighters die battling Arizona Blaze

[2]2013 Colorado Wildfire Season

[3]HOT Activation working group wiki-page:


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