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Nearly every wildfire fatality occurs within the first hour yet official notifications are often delayed, sparse, or non-existent. Watch Duty, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, alerts you of nearby wildfires and firefighting efforts in real-time, when every second counts.
Our service is powered by real people – active and retired firefighters, dispatchers, and first responders – who monitor radio scanners and collaborate around the clock to bring you up-to-the-minute information. Our staff are aided by software and bots scan the internet 24 hours a day and alert us to new fire starts from all publicly available data sources.
In less than two years with no funding we grew to 500,000 users and are used in every Red Cross and Office of Emergency Services, garnering the attention of Wired, The Guardian, and Popular Science. We are now operating a full-time team supporting 85+ volunteers and reaching over 100,000 DAU’s (Daily Active Users) from PG&E to nearly every local firehouse across the Western US.
Our mapping paired with real-time radio scanner reporting allows us to create situational awareness that has never been seen before, let alone in one place. Lets face it, many of these data sources are publicly available whether it be satellite heat signatures or wind and weather data. The difference is that Watch Duty is operated by actual people with purpose built tools who can interpret and disseminate this information live. Our team of 85+ remote volunteers have created the next generation of Office of Emergency Services, but distributed (DOES). To learn more about how it all works please visit watchduty.org/how-it-works/overview.
Watch Duty, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, alerts you of nearby wildfires and firefighting efforts in real-time, when every second counts.
Watch Duty, launched last year, sends users push notifications about new and spreading fire, giving them vital time to prepare
Watch Duty is already a lifeline for the state’s residents. Its reach could soon extend to more disasters and regions.
An inside look at Watch Duty, a website called The Lookout, and a citizen-led quest for better information about fire dangers.
"We’re not here telling anybody to evacuate. We’re the ones who are letting you know more information in real-time to make informed decisions," Watch Duty co-founder and CEO John Clarke Mills says.
When the Walbridge fire ripped through northwest Sonoma County last year, Mills’ home was threatened, and he spent hours each day checking for updates on Facebook and Twitter, which were exploding with messages from concerned homeowners just like himself.
Time is of the essence in almost every emergency situation, especially when it comes to wildfires. A wind-driven fire can roar across a fuel-rich landscape like a freight train, except one that can turn on a dime or jump a mile-wide gap in a matter of seconds.
As we move further into fire season, a new resource is aiming to keep Californians on top of wildfire risks and response.
Watch Duty, a wildfire alert app run by active and retired firefighters and first responders, is expanding its coverage to Oregon next week.
The Watch Duty wildfire app will become available to users in several Western states, including Washington, Idaho and Oregon, beginning May 2.
A fire reporting app that allows users to report and monitor new and spreading fires in real time made its debut in Oregon and across the western U.S. Tuesday.
The app is called Watch Duty and it was launched two years ago in California after the CEO and co-founder, John Mills, nearly lost his home from wildfires in 2020.
A California nonprofit company has introduced an app that allows people to monitor wildfires in their area.
Nearly every wildfire fatality occurs within the first hour, yet official notifications are often delayed, sparse, or non-existent. Watch Duty, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, alerts you of nearby wildfires and firefighting efforts in real time when every second counts.
I use the Watch Duty app all the time to keep track of conditions wherever my son lands as a wildland firefighter. And then we had a fire in the eucalyptus forest just down the road from us. Watch Duty provided quick, comprehensive coverage during a very scary event. Thanks!
“Having Watch Duty has reduced my stress level greatly. Just seeing how fast the firefighters jump on the wildfires and get them Forward Progress Stopped is very reassuring.”
“You guys are the best! You are my go-to first before CalFire or Yubanet. Thanks so much!”
“As a cofounder of a firewise community, ... I get the most up-to-date and fastest information from Watch Duty and I find the updating to be very timely and accurate. I feel like I know almost immediately when there is a fire and that is a HUGE relief to me. ”