Dashboard Week Day 4 - California Fire Incidents

by Andy Kriebel
While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress on vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire. The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by 75 days across the Sierras and seems to correspond with an increase in the extent of forest fires across the state.  ~ Cal Fire

For Thursday, each member of DS21 must find someone from The Information Lab to work with them on the project, and it must be someone outside of their cohort. Ideally that person works side-by-side with them all day and they present together at 4pm.

I want them to work with people that have more experience so that they can see how they:

  • Approach a project
  • Decide what to focus on
  • Prepare the data (and only the data that is necessary)
  • Think analytically
  • Design their work

When I lived in California, it seemed like the wildfires were in the news constantly. Sadly, those fires seem to be getting worse and worse. Today, the team will analyze data from Cal Fire of every fire incident they have recorded.


  • There are lots and lots of pages of incidents. They must use Alteryx to download the data from the website for all pages.
  • Bonus points (and probably better analysis) if they download more years
  • Their partner is there for support, not to do the work for them.
  • Have fun!

Feature image photo by Marcus Kauffman on Unsplash


Andy Kriebel

Wed 23 Jun 2021

Mon 26 Apr 2021

Fri 26 Mar 2021

Thu 25 Mar 2021