How It Works

Who We Are

Watch Duty is operated by real people -- not machines or crowdsourcing. We are active and retired wildland firefighters, dispatchers, first responders, and reporters.

How We Work

We collaborate in real-time, gather information from official sources, and radio communications to distill just the facts.

When We Notify

If an incident we are monitoring has a threat to life or property we notify the public via the Watch Duty app.

A Timeline of Events

Photo of a wildfire

A 911 dispatch center receives a call about a vegetation fire.

CHP vegetation slack message

Our automated monitoring system hears that 911 dispatch and alerts our team in Slack.

Watch Duty Reporter Michael Silvester

All available Watch Duty reporters in that region begin monitoring their radio scanners, wildfire cameras, satellites, and other public sources such as official announcements from law enforcement and fire services.

On scene fire figher

The team vets all available information and awaits for on-scene personnel to give an official report on conditions.

Watch Duty push notifications

If we perceive a threat to life or property, we will notify the affected public via the Watch Duty app. Our reporters follow a strict code of conduct when notifying the public.

Watch Duty push notifications

Reporters will continually monitor the incident and update the public along the way until it is extinguished or no longer a threat to life or property.

A Behind The Scenes Look

We go in depth with real audio, video, and transcriptions of the deadly Fairview Fire on September 5th, 2022.