Mapping apps are reportedly directing people fleeing the Southern California wildfires to areas that are on fire


california fires
Emergency
crews in Southern California block a roadway as flames spread
from a wind-driven brush fire.

REUTERS/Gene Blevins

  • Out-of-control wildfires are raging in and near Los
    Angeles.
  • Mapping apps, which are frequently designed to help
    users route around traffic, are in some cases reportedly
    directing drivers into fire-affected zones. 
  • The Los Angeles Police Department is warning those in
    the area to cease using such apps.

Southern California residents and visitors fleeing the wildfires
raging around Los Angeles are contending with a new problem —
mapping apps that are reportedly directing them towards areas
that are on fire.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is warning area
residents and visitors that apps that offer driving directions
are sometimes suggesting routes through regions that are
ablaze, The
Los Angeles Times reported

Apps such as Waze and Google Maps take traffic into account when
calculating routes and will often suggest that drivers take roads
that appear less busy. However, they apparently aren’t
calculating in the fact that those routes may be free because of
the fire danger. 

The LAPD is reportedly warning those in the area not to use any
navigation apps.


The out-of-control fires are blazing in parts of Los Angeles and
Ventura counties
, and nearly 200,000 people have been
affected by mandatory evacuation orders. Winds of up to 80 miles
per hour are exacerbating the conditions, and a state of
emergency has been declared.

The fires
have periodically closed
 major routes in the area,
including Interstate 405 and Highway 101, making it more
difficult for people to get around. The California Department of
Transportation is providing
an updated map
that shows the locations of the areas affected
by the fire.

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