Improving fire danger ratings

By sdbergqu

As we head into summer, we’ve just launched improvements to how we present Yukon fire danger ratings.

Re-examining user needs

When we deliver digital services to Yukoners, we do not take a launch it and leave it approach. We revisit services to make sure they work for our users. In revisiting how we present fire danger ratings, we found we needed to make some adjustments to improve the user experience.

People use this service in the summer months. These users include:

  • Yukoners who are out on the land;
  • visitors travelling around Yukon; and
  • staff who update highway signs.

The original plan

We included fire danger rating information in our Yukon wildfire map. This map houses a lot of useful information in 1 place but it also requires a lot of bandwidth. This makes it difficult to use in areas with less internet capacity or weaker cell service. So, the map was not accessible enough for people to use in the locations many would expect to use it.

Providing information about Yukon fire ratings is a digital service. We found some users need to be able to share this important information offline. For example, people in communities and road camps need to access this information so they can update the highway fire danger rating signs.

We did not have to look far for a solution

We had already designed the government’s website, Yukon.ca, with fast-loading webpages specifically so they’re more accessible throughout Yukon.

All we had to do was tackle the content so the information was not only available in the map. We already had a webpage called “Get Yukon wildfire updates” so we created a new section on that page called “Current fire danger ratings and wildfire data.”

Reworking the content has allowed us to make the following improvements.

  1. We give users a daily snapshot of the fire situation this year. This includes automatic updates to the:
    • date the information was last updated;
    • total number of fires;
    • size of the area that has burned; and
    • the number of new fires in the last 24 hours.
       
  2. We provide fire updates twice a day. Wildland Fire’s tracking system runs hourly queries. This automatically update this page twice a day with accurate and timely information.
     
  3. Users can scan the page to see fire danger ratings at a glance.
    • We’ve introduced colour coding in addition to words to indicate the ratings.
    • We present the fire danger ratings by region so users can see what’s happening in a widespread or specific areas.

Continued improvements

We’ll continue to monitor user feedback over the summer and make adjustments to continue to improve the user experience.

If you have any feedback, you can use the form at the bottom of any Yukon.ca page or email eservices@gov.yk.ca.

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