2013 Colorado Wildfire Season

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General Information
Wildfire in California.jpg

This page was used for the mapping coordination during the 2013 Colorado Wildfire Season in the State of Colorado, United States; it is left here as documentation. Wildfires are natural (sometimes human caused) phenomenon that often pose a threat to life and property as well as change the ecology of the area. See this article in Wikipedia for more information on wildfire.

View Colorado on OpenStreetMap

Current information on large wildfires in the entire USA can be found at inciweb.org; click here for information on Colorado wildfires.

This wiki page is to be used for coordination of a remote mapping event only! Areas may be evacuated or under a 'sub-evacuation' (voluntary, pre, etc.) order. Attempting to enter any of the current fire area(s) is not advised until well after the fire(s) are completely out and life has returned to 'normal'. There is plenty of beneficial mapping that can be done remotely.

Response Coordination

This humanitarian mapping project is being coordinated by volunteer contributors of OpenStreetMap, some of which are volunteers, and/or members of, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. No singular organization or entity is facilitating or overseeing the coordination, primarily because the organic response has been successful with minimal support. Also there has yet to be a request from HOT partner organizations for assistance; if you are a representative of a government or NGO involved in humanitarian or emergency response and would like to request HOT support for any incident; please contact HOT at info@hotosm.org - although all are welcome to use OpenStreetMap without any such request, see Using OpenStreetMap.

Editing Tips

Mapping is no longer requested.

The following was a suggested list of mapping area/incident priority:

West Fork Complex 2013 - At over 100,000 acres combined, the three fires that make up the complex are impacting a large rural area with few/no active local mappers.
East Fork Fire 2013 - area remote and sparsely populated, but natural polygons and tracks could be mapped.
East Peak Fire 2013 - Getting close to having area mapped
Lime Gulch Fire 2013 - And other small and remote fires W/SW of Denver, CO.
Black Forest Fire 2013 - Nearly 500 homes were destroyed; mapping response was amazing; thank you!

A Message to New Mappers

You should not feel your contributions are unwelcome during a ‘crisis mapping’ event. Experienced mappers are also working in the area (or looking) and the good ones will happily offer you constructive advice if they feel you need it. Each road, structure, landuse/natural polygon, and detail you add is appreciated.

For some training to get started, visit learnosm.org

Tagging Tips

Changeset Descriptions: please identify the fire you are mapping and a brief description of what you are working on in your changeset description (i.e. when you save) so others can view the History/Changesets to avoid duplicating efforts; example: "Black Forest Fire: building tracing on eastern flank".
Note: Some of the available imagery is getting old/out-dated and locals may be adding personal knowledge that appears to conflict; please do not delete/change data added by a human unless you have verifiable and more recent information.

Tagging Suggested Order of Priority

Roads: Most of the roads will be highway=residential, for driveways highway=service is the basic tag, and 4x4 (off-road/highway vehicle) trails are typically tagged highway=track.
You will likely come across 'TIGER deserts', see TIGER Fixup! for more information. Also, look up the Highway Key for more details on roads.
Buildings: building=yes
Many structures have been destroyed across the state, however many more have been saved/survived the fires so far; go ahead and trace.
Landuse/Natural:
Water Features: natural=water is the basic tag for all water bodies; waterway=stream is a good start for any small river/stream/creek/tributary.
For areas with structures: landuse=residential and landuse=commercial for most; see East Peak Fire 2013 for details on oil and gas facilities.
You may find areas that have mixed usage or are difficult to tell from imagery, using residential is o.k. to start with if no landuse is currently mapped.
For tracing wooded or grassland areas: natural=wood, natural=grassland, and natural=scrub.
There was some quick discussion during the Black Forest Fire response and the consensus currently is similar to buildings (being burned), please trace, we'll fix later.

Thank You!

A personal thank you from Russell Deffner, Colorado, USA based mapper...

Harry Wood for starting this coordination wiki (and helping clean up my horrible flurry of poor landuse mapping on the BFF)...

The following OSM contributors who have jumped in to map...

I'm sure there are others that I couldn't determine from the changesets, etc. (and those who I haven't added to the list yet)