The Watch Duty Team

We are radio operators, firefighters, designers, makers and engineers.

Leadership

John Mills

CEO & Co-Founder
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David Merrit

CTO & Co-Founder
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Brian Harris

CPO
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Nick Russell

VP of Operations
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Will Krispin

VP of Development & Strategic Partnerships
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Advisors

Breana Teubner

Political Advisor
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Brian Fennessy

OCFA Chief
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Staff Reporters

Cole Euken

Staff Reporter
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Cole Euken, a resident of Lake County, has been reporting on fires since late 2015, shortly after the Valley Fire ravaged his hometown of Middletown. Besides reporting Cole is also a freelance fire/emergency service photographer who travels around the region capturing and reporting on incidents as they unfold.

Michael Silvester

Staff Reporter
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Michael Silvester, aka CA Fire Scanner, has been reporting on wildfires in California for six fire seasons. He is based in New Zealand, so you may see more of his coverage on the night shift.

Sekhar Padmanabhan

Staff Reporter
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Sekhar Padmanabhan, aka barkflight, began covering fires and other breaking news in the early 2000s as a newspaper reporter. A lifelong Californian, he now reports on wildfires across the state on social media and his website. Sekhar serves as staff to three cats and has a bachelor's degree in communications.

Reporters

Adam Johnson

Reporter
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Adam is a Colorado native and graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Natural Resources. He has been reporting fires to the Colorado Wildfire Information Facebook page since the High Park Fire in 2012.

Billy Adams

Reporter
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Billy has been a HAM radio operator for 30 years and listening to scanners since the age of 10. He is in involved with his local emergency management teams in Northern California and is now reporting for Watch Duty.

Charlie Moon

Reporter
LinkedIn

After surviving the Tubbs Fire in CA and Almeda Fire in OR, Charlie knew she could use her five years of fire monitoring experience to fill the need for immediate and accurate fire reporting in Southern Oregon. Charlie started the Jackson County Fire Watch Facebook group to keep the community updated and informed with breaking fire details and to help alleviate some of the mutual stresses and uncertainties of fire season. She is happy to help Watch Duty expand to Oregon!

Corey Edwards

Reporter
LinkedIn

Corey Edwards, longtime resident of Napa Valley, has been reporting on fires for five years. When not monitoring active fires, Corey runs Napa Valley Fire and Police page, manages a computer repair business, minds his garden and tends to Patches, the elder stateswoman of his cat posse.

Damian Bouné

Reporter
LinkedIn

Damian Bouné lives in a remote region of Sonoma County and has been providing fire and emergency-related information to his community since 2017. He is an excellent resource for building radio resource resilience and sophisticated mapping tools. He is passionate about building risk-informed communities, and frequently leaves his remote family homestead to provide the community with the tools to do so.

Danilla Sands

Reporter
LinkedIn

Danilla Sands lives in Mendocino County and has been working in disaster related services since 2015. She started to relay fire information in 2015, but more specifically since 2017. She helps manage a community emergency information Facebook group. Reporter and photographer for Mendocino Action News and other news outlets as needed.

David A.

Reporter
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David spent 35 years with a large southern California fire department, retiring as a Captain. He brings extensive wildfire and emergency management experience to Watch Duty and reports on fires throughout our coverage area.

Don Zirbel

Reporter
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Don retired from the Fire Service in 2018, following a career spanning 36 years as a Firefighter, Engineer, Paramedic, Structural Collapse/Confined Space Technician, and Field Training Officer with fire agencies in California and Oregon. Over the course of his career, Don was deployed on numerous wildland fires in both states. Prior to beginning his career, he served as a volunteer firefighter in Riverside County, California in the late 70’s-early 80’s. Now residing in northern Nevada, Don helped form Eastern Sierra Fire & Ice on Facebook, reporting on fires and weather-related events in and around northwestern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra region of California. In retirement, Don and his wife also founded an animal rescue and sanctuary for turtles and tortoises.

Donovan Johnson

Reporter
LinkedIn

Donovan has been reporting on fires for the last 2 years serving the Sierra foothills in delivering fast and accurate fire information on Twitter and now here on Watch Duty. He is also a fire photographer capturing fire incidents and reporting on them as they progress.

Evan Jacobs

Reporter
LinkedIn

Evan Jacobs lives in West Sonoma County and has been providing information on fires for three years. He is also a volunteer firefighter and a freelance fire photographer.

Jess Parrish

Reporter
LinkedIn

Jess started reporting on fires after surviving the Almeda fire that devastated Jackson County, Oregon. She found the Jackson County Firewatch group on Facebook and started contributing to the reporting there. Soon after, Charlie Moon invited her to be a moderator for the group and they have been reporting together ever since. This will be her 3rd year reporting. She is our group's resident night owl, so you will most likely see her reports late at night.

Jessi Clark-White

Reporter
LinkedIn

Jessi worked on the Warner Mountain fire lookout in the 90's and that spark of fascination with fire and weather never completely went out after leaving the fire service. She was an emergency dispatcher and freelance writer before founding her own fine jewelry company. The 2020 fires in Oregon were a wakeup call about the increased wildfire danger to the state, and how inadequate public communications were (and are). She made it her mission not to be caught unaware again and began seeking tools to track fires and relay information to the public.

Currently scanning Linn County in the Brownsville/Harrisburg/Shedd/Lebanon areas and helping report on the Willamette Valley, South Cascades and Central Oregon. She's also a Skywarn spotter for NWS and is media credentialed to enter disaster areas in Oregon.

Joshua Leone

Reporter
LinkedIn

Josh Leone, a 3rd generation resident of the Russian River, is known for his reporting on fires, floods and other disasters. He is a weather watcher, a community resource for extreme weather and fire information, and loves camping with his family. He helps to manage the Russian River Resources and Information Facebook page and the Sonoma County Fire Updates page.

Kate Novoa

Reporter
LinkedIn

Also know as Bigsurkate, she lives in a remote area of Big Sur on the South Coast. She has been covering fires, floods, road closures, and local events since 2008 on her blog. She is passionate about Big Sur and protecting it and is or has been involved in many community organizations that share that goal.

Liam Winstead

Reporter
LinkedIn

Liam Winstead runs @SDCountyFires on Twitter and Brush Fire Partyline / San Diego North County on Facebook. He’s a lifelong San Diegan and is studying Real Estate & Development and Urban Studies & Planning at UC San Diego.

Matthew Provencher

Reporter
LinkedIn

Matthew has been reporting fires in Riverside County since 2017, and ran @RVCFires on Twitter. He works in the aviation industry and is also a student pilot.

Maureen Bonessa

Reporter
LinkedIn

Maureen Bonessa, aka MoBones, has been reporting on fires in Glenn and Tehama counties for 8 years. She manages the NorCalFireWeather page on Facebook, covering fires, weather, news and other relevant information. In addition to top-notch fire reporting, she is an accomplished photographer and equestrian. Maureen lives in Red Bluff.

Michael Steinberg

Reporter
LinkedIn

Michael Steinberg is a freelance videographer for Live Storms Media and a fire photographer. He started reporting on wildfires in 2021 after family was impacted by the Carr/Camp fires. Michael is based in Chico and attends CSU Chico, majoring in Physical Geography.

Michelle Mason

Reporter
LinkedIn

Michelle has been reporting fires in Oregon and Northern California since 2015 although she has been an avid radio scanner her whole life.  Her father spent his career at CALFIRE which led to her interest and hyper awareness to fire season.

Noah Huttinger

Reporter
LinkedIn

Noah lives in the Spokane Area and is a volunteer with a local fire district. Noah begain tweeting fire info in 2011 under the name Spokane Fire News. Noah has served as a volunteer with Incident Management teams across the US covering fires such as Barry Point, Big Windy, Cougar Creek and others. He enjoys fire and weather photography, fishing, and working with computers.

Patricia Jacobs

Reporter
LinkedIn

Patricia Jacobs (Trisha) moved to California 30+ years ago, where she experienced her first wildfire and evacuation. Over the last decades, Trisha has been living and working in the Central Sierra Nevada foothills while raising her two kids. She monitors and reports on wildfires and emergencies as a reporter for Sierra News Online, through Facebook, her Twitter @trishaswcfirewx, and now Watch Duty. Trisha believes in providing fast, accurate information from official sources to empower communities.

Sara Paul

Reporter
LinkedIn

Sara Paul is a certified community wildfire mitigation specialist and a fire reporter. She’s managed the Sonoma County Fire Updates Facebook group, a resource for vegetation fires, threatening weather and evacuation preparedness, since 2017. She’s on the board of Safer West County, active in Fire Safe Monte Rio and is involved in the West County GMRS project, educating the community about emergency communications. 

Sara holds FEMA IS-100 Incident Command, FEMA IS-29 PIO Awareness, and FEMA IS-4 Social Media in Emergency Management certifications, as well as Community Wildfire Mitigation Best Practices certification (through Coalitions & Collaboratives) and Wildland Fire Assessment Program (WFAP) certification (through Fire Safe Sonoma).

Shannon Mahorney

Reporter
LinkedIn

Shannon Mahorney lives at the base of the Marble Mountains in Siskiyou County and established Siskiyou Alerts to fill the void in local news regarding emergencies. Siskiyou Alerts is known as a great source of up-to-the-minute fire info.

Todd Phillips

Reporter
LinkedIn

Todd Phillips began his public safety career in 1986.  He’s retired now after serving as a 911 Dispatcher, volunteer firefighter, search & rescue team member, deputy sheriff, Parent Project® Instructor & Facilitator, and DA’s office criminal investigator.  Todd is part of the team who has ears on Santa Cruz, San Mateo, San Benito, and Monterey Counties.

Todd holds FEMA IS-29.a (Social Media in Emergency Management), IS-42.a (Public Information Officer Awareness), IS-100.c (Introduction to ICS), and IS-700.b (Introduction to NIMS) certifications.

Zakery Pressley

Reporter
LinkedIn

Zak is based in Flagstaff and brings Watch Duty’s coverage into Northern Arizona. During the 2022 firestorms Zak noticed a lack of centralized info in the Flagstaff area and began informing his neighbors and community on Twitter and has been doing it ever since.

Product & Engineering

Andrew Liebchen

Product Design
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Chris Foster

Engineer
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David Watkins

Engineer
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Devin Dombrowski

Engineer
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Gabe Schine

Engineer
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Geoff Donaldson

Engineer
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Lukas Bergstrom

Product Cofounder
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Michael Hess

Fire fighter & Engineer
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