If you or your friends/family are in Victoria, you can now check an up-to-the-minute live map of the bushfires created by Google employees.
In the 70s, vans with loudhalers on the roof warned of fire situations; in the 80s, radio and TV were the way to get updates in emergency situations; in the 90s, websites became the most readily-accessed source of information, and today, Google has released live-updating maps of the bushfires in Victoria.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has asked people not to access its websites unless they think they are in immediate threat of bushfire, as its webservers are currently unable to cope with the surge in public interest. Google's bushfire map is a good place to start to assess your risk.
You can view the map here.
Google explains more about how the map is being made at its Official Google Australia blog, which is credited to Alan Noble, Raul Vera and Pamela Fox, Google Engineering. Good work folks.