Tracking fires for cyclists


Touring cyclists traveling around the United States during this exceedingly hot and dry summer might find very useful a new tool from the Adventure Cycling Association.
“Every year, it seems that a few routes in the Adventure Cycling Route Network are affected by forest fires, usually when smoke reduces visibility to the point where authorities close the roads,” says the bicycle advocacy group based in Missoula, Mont. “That’s why we at headquarters have created a new resource, which we’ve dubbed the Adventure Cycling Association Fire Map.”
The new tool uses a Google map of the United States overlaid with the association’s route network, nearly 41,000 miles of bike-friendly roads criss-crossing America. The map is linked to the U.S. Forest Service’s GeoMAC fire incident database.
“The perimeters of every fire in the U.S. are updated daily and displayed on the map with our routes,” Adventure Cycling Association reports in Wednesday’s edition of Bike Bits, an e-mailed compilation of news about cycling. “Riders can easily zoom in on fires near their route and click on the fire icon to get more information.
“The link in the balloon will direct users to a website with the latest status of the fire. If there is a closure on the intended route, contact information can be utilized to call local agencies for detour information. There’s also information on wind direction and speed, which can be used to estimate smoke coverage.”
The association says it hopes eventually to add “flood, weather, and snow-depth overlays” to make the map even more useful.

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Filed under Cycling across America, Environment, Travels

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