Oakland's Fires and GIS

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Oakland Hills Fire 1991

While researching and google searching "fires in Oakland," I came across the Oakland Hills Fire in 1991.

Map of Oakland Hills Fire

In this image, you can see where the cause or spark of fire is located, the wind direction, and the areas that were affected. This image gives us a very chronologic and detailed view of the level of intensity of fire in different neighborhoods.


As you can see, the fire is located in Oakland, more specifically, Northeast Hills.


I decided to georeference this map (with the help of Professor Dan Ryan) and orient it accordingly then I highlighted the area in blue of where the fire was located to give my reader a better idea of when and where the fire took place.

Later on, I took the qgis project that I created/obtained to trace the existing features of those affected neighborhoods. Once I finished tracing it, I saved it as a vector layer and went to Ogre to convert the compressed files of that vector layer to make a leaflet choropleth map.


Birthday Present for You


  1. Oakland History Room
  2. GISwebsite City of Oakland
  3. Spatial History Project at Stanford, especially here
  4. Cal Fire Fire Hazard Severity Zones Maps
  5. [http://wildfiretoday.com/2011/10/20/20-years-later-potential-for-another-oakland-hills-fire/]
  6. [http://oaklandnorth.net/2011/10/19/twenty-years-after-the-oakland-hills-fire-what-has-changed/]
  7. [http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/tr-060.pdf]