Watch Duty

I was asked to be a reporter for this non-profit a few months back. It is an app that is available for both Mac and Android, phones, tablets, and lap tops. It is an amazing piece of software written by John Clarke Mills after he had to be evacuated two years back in Napa County, and couldn’t get any real time info. He solved that problem by creating this app, with some help from some other fire geeks who are part of his tech team. I am only part of the reporting team. Download the app for this fire season, I think you will find it helpful..I will still be providing my usual fire service for the Central Coast, but this is a great addition.

Watch Duty is now available throughout California!Dear friends, neighbors, and first responders,We are pleased to share with you two very exciting announcements we’ve been working on all winter:1. As of today we are expanding our coverage to the entire state of California!  During the welcome rains this winter we’ve been quietly recruiting reporters from across the state and building more robust systems to help us monitor every fire. We are now confident we can provide world-class emergency alerting to the entire state, just like we delivered in Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties last year.2.  We have also just launched what may be our most powerful feature yet: you can now take a photo within the app and have it geolocated and sent directly to our reporters! If a reporter approves the photograph it will then be shared with all users on our platform. These images are invaluable for identifying early fire starts, fire perimeters, and other hazards. Please do not put yourself in harm’s way but you should know that thousands of our users are also first responders — and they are watching.We all can play a role in keeping our community safe and informed, not just firefighters and police.  We hope that sharing photos with first responders may give you a tiny measure of control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation. With your help, we can create a new source of fire information along with our radio reporting. This will paint a real-time picture of conditions on the ground for all to see.Thank you all for trusting us along this incredible journey so far. It’s been the highest honor to serve you, our community, and the place we call home.  Wishing you a safe and uneventful fire season!And to the first responders out there who drag hose through the forest in 100-degree heat risking everything, press your radio button firmly and speak clearly into the microphone because we’re on watch duty and we’re always listening.
Sincerely,The Watch Duty Team

12 thoughts on “Watch Duty

  1. Thanks for this! I have just downloaded it and it is great!!

  2. Looks like it’s well worth checking into… wondering if there is any plan to extend up into Oregon? Thanks, as always, Kate!!! 💞

  3. Brilliant. I can see several advantages, especially with far-flung family and friends. Good to hear “you’re on the job”. 😁

  4. Defo downloading and sharing on Twitter and FB. Thanks Kate!!

  5. We need this app! We lost 2,500 residences here in So.Oregon in the Almeda Fire, 9/8/21, (the start point was .5 mi. from my home and I lost family treasures in a storage unit in Talent, Oregon).

  6. Kate, thanks for the heads up. Looks quite good and should provide visibility and info for far flung family members in Ca and beyond. And Hi Josh!

  7. Thank you, Kate. It’s reassuring to know that we will have access to updated information in the event of wildfires. Appreciate your blog .

  8. If anyone is a private pilot, maybe pre-planned sorties could be set up by local aircraft owners to spot fires quickly during especially fire-prone conditions. Wind, unfortunately, will keep some planes grounded. Just a thought . . .

  9. Just got my first alert from Watch Duty for the fire at Laguna Seca but was already tracking the 4 planes and the Blackhawk that flew over my house.

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