Our Story

Watch Duty is a free public service that provides up-to-the-minute, reliable disaster information. With your help, this 501c3 non-profit organization will always remain free for the community and devoid of outside influence or advertising.

Our Watch Duty team has been personally impacted by wildland fires. We have stood side-by-side with our neighbors, confronting both the fear and the reality of wildfires, and have witnessed our loved ones lose everything.  We know, first hand, that when disaster strikes, every minute counts.

People have lost their lives because they didn’t have early warning that fire was coming.Before Watch Duty, our communities didn’t have the critical information necessary to know when we were safe and when we needed to make life-saving decisions.

We recognized that we needed better and more timely information about these life-threatening disasters. This is the reason we built Watch Duty.

How It Works

Though it may be hard to believe, the most reliable, accurate and timely information in the midst of a disaster does not come from Artificial Intelligence.  It comes from passionate, engaged local citizens sharing information and broadcasting in real time.

When a threat is reported, Watch Duty has a devoted team of reporters actively scanning every piece of information available. Together, these reporters collaborate to verify different sources to ensure each update is accurate. They assess the risk of the situation and then share clear, understandable information to inform local citizens.


Our Automated Disaster Monitoring software tracks new vegetation fires


We listen to first responders communicate and plan their attack on the radio


Our reporters collaborate in real-time to make sense of what is happening


We publish verified updates through the app

How Your Donations Will Be Used

We’re expanding Watch Duty from a volunteer-only project to a sustainable non-profit and we need your help. With your donations, we’ll hire a modest full-time team to support our volunteers. This will ensure Watch Duty is able to continue to provide the high-quality service the community expects as well as expand the platform to provide even more community value to our members.

Hire a full-time team to work in concert with volunteer reporters
Centralize information like evacuation maps and shelter locations
Expand beyond fire coverage to other life-threatening natural disasters
Offer this service to neighboring states

Who We are

We’re a citizen-powered non-profit, started by volunteers – radio operators, business professionals, and active and retired first responders. Many of us have been listening to radio scanners, watching weather patterns and reporting on Facebook and Twitter since the Tubbs Fire in 2017.

Some of the Watch Duty Team at a Fire Safe Sonoma event in Guerneville, CA
Some of the Watch Duty Team at a Fire Safe Sonoma event in Guerneville, CA

We felt the anxiety of scouring the Internet for information in the middle of a crisis, using many different websites to try and understand the full picture. In 2021, we found the right team,  and implemented everything we learned to create Watch Duty.

We won’t stop building until everything we need in a disaster is all in one place.  Every minute counts.  When citizens can check often and act early, the world is a safer place.

Become a Watch Duty Member

Membership is a great way to support a nonprofit and ensures Watch Duty will always be free for all and devoid of advertising. As a thank you for becoming a member, we’re giving you access new member-only features.

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Donate Today


"They've done a really good job. They're taking our information and putting it right into Watch Duty"

Bryan Schenone
Director of Siskiyou Office of Emergency Services

"There’s a fear of being at risk. Watch Duty is my valium"

Carrie Kramlich
Sonoma County Resident, told Wired Magazine

"The Watch Duty app has become a game changer"

Kevin Hedahl
Red Cross Senior Disaster Program Manager

Interested in Volunteering?

We are always looking for skilled volunteers to help us build our platform and cover more territory to keep our community safe.

Join a team of some of the best and brightest engineers, reporters, scanners, first responders, retired firefighters, and dispatchers.

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