Red Cross launches wildfire app

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The American Red Cross has launched a smartphone app aimed at providing valuable information to people living or traveling in wildfire-prone areas.

The "Wildfire App" gives users alerts on official warnings for dangerous fire conditions, the locations of nearby fires, and the perimeter or path of any blaze. The app also includes information about available Red Cross shelters, and an "I'm safe" feature that sends a message of reassurance to family and friends, according to the organization.

Like other emergency-related apps, the wildfire version contains pre-loaded information that's available with or without a wireless signal.

The Wildfire App is the fourth in a series, after earlier first aid, hurricane and earthquake apps. The latest release comes on the heels of a particularly dry and late fire season in the Northwest.

The app, offered in English or Spanish, is available on both the iPhone and Android platforms. Users should search "American Red Cross" to find it in an online app store, according to the organization.