While up at Forestry Camp, Mike DeLasaux turned us on to this site: SimTable. Apparently in the early days (and still today) sandtables were used to practice for wildland fire management. A few pictures are shown here. A nice tool developed to update the sandtable idea using digital data and fire modeling is SimTable. Their website also has some great visualizations of past fires with real fire perimeter data.
For example, check out the spread of the Chips fire using their website (image at right). The fire was first sighted on July 29, 2012, burning about 20 miles (32 km) west of Quincy, California. It burned through the begining of September 2012, eventually burning about 75,000 acres in Plumas and Lassen national forests. In late August, a series of backfires along the eastern flank of the fire were lit (check out the forest treatments in purple on the map) to slow the spread. News article about the backfire here. The site is: http://apps.simtable.com/fireProgression/tests/chips/simpleOverlay.html.
Here is the Chips burn scar from NASA.