i-051c1ea8b829e0a760055904a5222bb9-Satellite image of fires.JPG
NASA satellite image of fires

The last few days have shown that online resources, social media, and collaboration on the Net can make a huge difference in a natural disaster. As the wildfires have spread in Southern California, the evacuees and local residents have utilized the Internet not only to connect and get updated information; they have used it to tell their stories, share photographs and video of the fires with the outside world.

Probably the most heartening aspect of the online coverage is the way that mainstream media and individual citizen journalists have worked together. Local media has been highlighting user-submitted photos and videos, and embedding new technology in their prime coverage. San Diego’s public television station, KPBS, used Twitter to give its audience updates when its website went down, and the Twitter updates now have a prominent place on their home page.

Twitter updates on the KPBS homepage

Just how extensive and deep has the online coverage been for the fires? It stretches from local news sources to video on YouTube to photos on Flickr to message boards on Craigslist. These aren’t traditional places where people would get their news during a natural disaster, but they are becoming more important with each new event.

We’d like to create a comprehensive resource guide, listing all the places you can find coverage of the fires, with an emphasis on social and citizen media. MediaShift associate editor Jennifer Woodard Maderazo put together a large collection of links, and we are asking that you add to the list by sending along any other resources you’ve seen online in the comments below. We’ll update the list over the next week or so, and give you credit for any important sources you add.

California Wildfire Coverage Online

Special Websites

City of San Diego fire information and list of destroyed homes [PDF file]

San Diego Public Works road closures

San Diego County Emergency Homepage, with updates and fire maps

County of San Diego’s air quality reports

211SanDiego public info

National Interagency Fire Center reports

American Red Cross shelter info

DiscoverSD’s How you can help resource list


Local News

CBS8 list of destroyed homes

CBS8 has its entire site dedicated to coverage of the fires, with no ads

The Ramona Sentinel has ongoing reports on the Witch Fire

Topix’s San Diego site is almost all fire news

North County Times has continuing coverage of the fires and a Q&A with reporters

The OC Register’s Fire Central continuing coverage

Fox6’s fire updates

Los Angeles Times breaking news blog

Message Boards

SignOnSanDiego’s fire board features missing people search, and temporary accommodation info

LostPodcast’s San Diego fire forum

Craiglist’s San Diego Fire Forum


Wikipedia’s entry for California wildfires of October 2007, including 84 references

Sun Microsystems San Diego’s Fires Wiki

San Diego Fires Wiki

Flickr Photos

San Diego Fire

Southern California Fires – 2007

KPBS San Diego Wildfires Photo Group

San Diego Wildfires

San Diego Wildfires 2007

Podcacher.com’s fire set on Flickr


Amazing maps from CBS 8

KPBS San Diego Fire Map (constantly updated)

Blogger Rich Knitter’s Mashup of Google Earth and MODIS satellite maps of fire

Fox6’s constantly updated evacuation map

USDA Forest Service’s active fire maps

NASA’s views from space of the fires

San Diego State University fire mapping

Twitter Feeds

KPBS’ Twitter newsfeed provides constant fire updates

10News’ Twitter newsfeed with evacuation and emergency info

Nate Ritter’s San Diego fire Twitter updates

Hannabanana’s San Diego fire Twitter updates

LA Fire Department Twitter feed

Journalist Erin Kotecki Vest reports on her evacuation

Consolidated San Diego fire “tweets”

All mentions of “San Diego fires” on Twitter via Terraminds

Online Radio Streams

KOGO 600 radio live online coverage

KPBS live radio online

760 KFMB live stream of fire coverage

FM949 Radio’s continuing coverage

KNX1070 has breaking news and live coverage online


San Diego Union Tribune Fire Blog

CalFire comprehensive blog reports

Firefighter blog Firefighter images and accounts

San Diego Fires Mostly features photos

Blog Posts [independent]

In Case of Emergency blog on New Disaster Media

Recovering Journalist on how media did or didn’t use Web 2.0 to report on the incident

MobileMessaging2’s post on SMS’s role in the tragedy

Palms Springs Savant on his own personal experience with the fires

Brad Slavin’s tech blog has a list of destroyed homes

Bloodhound Realty blog has many posts about the fires

Tech editor Jim Forbes blogs from his shelter

San Diego Home Blog has info as it relates to real estate affected by the fires

Blogger Bruce Henderson is covering the fires

Blog Ranger’s list of online resources

Jim 2.0’s comprehensive list of online resources

Non-profit Technology Networks list of Twitter feeds

Blogger Lee Fuhr’s personal account of living through the fires

BlogHer blog’s roundup of San Diego fire blogs

LAist’s roundup of blog posts related to the fires

GigaOm on Web 2.0 and the fires

Blog Posts [major media]

NYT’s The Lede Blog posts on the fires

Wired’s Threat Level blog has extensive coverage of the fires

Wired’s Epicenter blog on the promise of Web 2.0 in times of disaster

Information Week blog on how Twitter and Google Maps have helped in reporting the story

YouTube Videos

SignOnSanDiego Fire videos

VoiceofSanDiego.org’s collection of videos

Most recent San Diego fire videos on YouTube (last 24 hours)

User armanx858 has a number of fire videos

Most viewed San Diego fire video on YouTube: A journalist reporting on destruction of his own home

Sign453’s evacuation video

Other Video

10News.com live video coverage of the fires

NBC San Diego live video stream

Technorati videos tagged “San Diego fire”

Lyon’s Peak: Live webcams of fire scene

KUSI’s live streaming coverage


FatJewishGuy.com’s Live Telethon for the San Diego fires

Podcacher wildfire update podcasts

San Diego fire podcasts on Bloodhound Realty blog

Nathan Gibb’s interview on KPBS about their ongoing web coverage

Please add resources we’ve missed in the comments and we’ll update our list throughout the week.