June 04–Worried about a wildfire approaching your home this summer? There’s an app for that.
Cal Fire’s smartphone app, Ready for Wildfire, provides alerts to residents whenever state firefighters respond to a significant blaze in a designated ZIP code or within 30 miles of the phone’s location.
“It allows us to reach people faster,” said Heather Williams, a Cal Fire spokeswoman. “We’re really excited about it.”
Cal Fire posts fire information on Facebook and Twitter, but the app “reaches people wherever they are,” she said.
The app, which has been downloaded more than 23,000 times, also gives residents step-by-step checklists for maintaining defensible space around their homes, as well as hardening homes with fire-resistant materials, creating evacuation plans and preparing an emergency supply kit.
It also offers updates on current wildfires throughout the state, including acreage burned and percentage of containment, and a map of current fires.
Fire seasons are getting longer and hotter, with an uptick in large, damaging fires, Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said in a statement.
“We need all Californians to prepare for wildfires, and this year we have a new tool to help,” he said.
To download the app, go to www.readyforwildfire.org or go to the App Store or Google Play Store and search for Cal Fire.
By Guy Kovner, The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.
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