Website of the week: InciWeb

DENVER, CO – MARCH 19: Fire crews fight a wildfire from the air in Sunshine Canyon on March 19, 2017 in Boulder, Colorado. More than 1,000 homes have been evacuated west of Boulder due to the fire. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

Wildfires are a factor in the modern American West.

It is not if a wildfire will happen.  It is WHEN.

And wildfires aren’t just affecting Western hiking.  Fires can, and have, affect such places as the Smokies in our increasingly hotter and drier climates.

Be it human caused or by a lightning strike, the combination of drier trees, parched ground cover, and lack of moisture means fires can impact an area severely and spread rapidly.

People have to be evacuated, closures can happen, and much money in damage is caused.

From an outdoor person’s perspective, these wildfires can impact our recreation time.

A planned trip to the local mountains this past weekend became a climbing trip due to wildfires.

But what if you are coming from out of state to Colorado or going to another location?

How do you know what impact the fires is causing or even what fires are even happening?

The answer is the Incident Information System.  Commonly known as InciWeb

InciWeb is a clearing house of all current fires, be it natural, human-caused, or prescribed burns.

This website has handy maps to visualize the fire impacts easier, gives information on closures due to fires, and even breaks down the information by state.

When planning a trip, keeping the possibility of fires in mind must be done.

It could be something as simple as taking a different stove… or even ultimately planning a different trip.

Wildfires are now a common concern for any outdoor experience.

InciWeb helps mitigate some of the uncertainty for these trips in our newer reality.

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7 years ago

I spent a lot of time on Inciweb the late summer of 2015 when so many of my favorite spots in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness were burning up. While the devastation was (and is) horrible, it was a comfort to see that a few spots, such as Larch Lakes, home of the world’s largest Lyall’s (alpine) larch trees, had evidently been bypassed.

7 years ago

It’s also a useful tool for mushrooming. Knowing what burned last year, and where, is very useful when hunting spring morels!