Inside the Source: Telling the Story of Wildfires through Story Maps

May 22, 2019

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Telling the Story of Wildfires through Story Maps by Andrea Watts

"When a burned area emergency response (BAER) team has finished its post-wildfire assessment and written an emergency response plan for a respective federal agency or tribal landowner, its final deliverable is the closeout. During the closeout, the team presents its findings and management recommendations, and one of the documents provided to the agency is an Esri story map.

Trisha Johnson, who has served on a BAER team as its GIS analyst and mobile technology specialist for the past five years, created the team’s first story map in 2016, following the Cedar Fire. The team’s reaction? “The team was very excited to add this new technology to the way we provide information to our agencies,” she said.

According to the Esri Story Maps website, these maps “let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content. They make it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell your story.” The data that BAER teams collect to inform their post-wildfire management recommendations adapt well to being presented in a story map."

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