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Rain (Finally), Lightning, Fires, Smoke & Drought In Southwest Colorado

June 29, 2013

 

Finally! Rain In Southwest Colorado

It’s finally starting to rain here in Southwest Colorado. With the Animas River only running at 270, and the Four Corners turning into a giant ring of fire, we could use it. Last night it rained pathetically, but today it seems like there’s some potential.

 

With Rain Comes Lightning. With Lightning Comes Fires

But the rain brings lightning and lightning brings fires. I’ve been hearing the thunder clapping all day with only a pathetic amount of rain to make up for it. Sure, Wolf Creek is back open (we can all go skiing now!) but we don’t need another local fire. We sure as hell don’t need another Missionary or Nighthorse; A little too close for comfort.

 

Some Fun Stuff With Fire Announcements And Social Media Automation

So inciweb.org offers an RSS feed for each individual forest fire. This is something that I’ve been looking for, just to play around with social media automation and fire reports. I was able to find the South Fork Fire, and make it automatically post to my Facebook through IFTTT. I just fixed a small glitch (wrong Twitter account….Oops!) so now my Twitter will be auto-tweeting fire updates as well.

If IFTTT and RSS can be used to turn someones Facebook or Twitter into a “grassroots fire information system”, then it’s possible to build a Facebook and Twitter application that does the exact same thing. This could be used by communities to spread fire updates through their networks as soon as they’re available.

I feel this real-time social announcement system could be way more effective than receiving fire information through the news…..Especially since we don’t have local news. It would also make everyone pushing fire updates through the mobile application feel like they’re involved and helping with the efforts, which could even help bring up moral in a threatened community. After development, the application would be no-cost and could lead to the viral spread of forest fire information. Think about it.

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