SPOKANE, Wash. — The Inland Northwest is quickly heading into fire season, and this year residents will have a new tool to help them track wildfires.
As larger fires pop up in the region and across the country, they will show on the “Watch Duty” app. When a fire shows on the app, Watch Duty will have their fire reporters start tracking information about the fire. They have dozens of reporters who have backgrounds as firefighters, dispatchers and first responders.
The reporters listen to radio communications from the fire line, interpret it then send out what they think people should know about the fires.
The non-profit group started in California a few years ago. With the massive fires that have recently burned in that state, CEO and President John Mills says the app has grown a lot. Mills said, “People telling us they were able to evacuate early, they were able to put the fire out, they know what's going on, it saved their life, they can sleep better, people who were going to move, they were just traumatized. I mean I have endless amounts of people telling us that this has allowed them to stay living in the wildlands because they couldn't deal with it anymore. "
There are many maps out there once fires get started, some even by the United States government, but Watch Duty says they give more information that just how big and how contained a fire is. Since Watch Duty is reporting radio communications, they say they have had to work to gain the trust of local fire agencies.
Mills says every time a big wildfire happens they see more people download the app. He hopes people prepare this year and download the app before fires start.
WATCH RELATED: Preparing for the 2023 wildfire season
DOWNLOAD THE KREM SMARTPHONE APP
DOWNLOAD FOR IPHONE HERE | DOWNLOAD FOR ANDROID HERE
HOW TO ADD THE KREM+ APP TO YOUR STREAMING DEVICE
ROKU: add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching for KREM in the Channel Store.
Fire TV: search for "KREM" to find the free app to add to your account. Another option for Fire TV is to have the app delivered directly to your Fire TV through Amazon.
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