×

Once registered, you can:

  • - Read additional free articles each month
  • - Comment on articles and featured creative work
  • - Get our curated newsletters delivered to your inbox

By registering you agree to our privacy policy, terms & conditions and to receive occasional emails from Ad Age. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Are you a print subscriber? Activate your account.

LAPD Warns Drivers Navigation Apps May Steer Them Toward Fires

Published on .

An firefighting helicopter makes a water drop during the Skirball Fire in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday. Fast-moving fires fanned by high winds in Southern California charred 50,000 acres of land and prompted a shutdown of Interstate 405 as they moved closer to L.A.
An firefighting helicopter makes a water drop during the Skirball Fire in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles on Wednesday. Fast-moving fires fanned by high winds in Southern California charred 50,000 acres of land and prompted a shutdown of Interstate 405 as they moved closer to L.A. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Navigation apps like Alphabet's Waze, which can do wonders directing drivers through traffic, backfired for some motorists trying to maneuver around the wildfires that are raging across Southern California.

Drivers have posted on Twitter that apps including Waze have steered them toward the flames. The Los Angeles Police Department warned motorists during a press conference Wednesday to be cautious using navigation apps near fiery areas and to obey all road blocks, spokesman Mike Lopez says.

Waze is in contact with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to identify fire zones and has updated its mapping to reflect about 150 road segments that are closed, according to Chelsea Russo, a spokeswoman for the app. The fires are moving so fast that Waze has had a tough time keeping up with their location, she says.

Strong winds fanned the fires, which are burning from Los Angeles's wealthy Bel-Air neighborhood to Ventura, about 60 miles to the northwest. Authorities temporarily closed parts of Interstate 405, the major freeway connecting the San Fernando Valley with job centers on the west side of Los Angeles, forcing thousands to seek alternate routes through the hills on Wednesday.

-- Bloomberg News

Most Popular
In this article: