Since www.wildlandfire.com shut down, we've been missing a place to talk fire. So we committed to creating a new site and doing it right. This web community is being developed in the spirit of wildlandfire.com and is being managed by volunteers, moderators, fire professional. We are dedicated to creating a active and sustainable wildfire fire community run as a non-profit.
We've had a few milestones.
In mid-December 2017 during the height of the Thomas Fire, the wildlandfire.com site was abruptly shut down. No notice was given. By early January, a number of discussions were underway about how to revive the site or spin off a new one.
RedZone.co, a wildfire technology company offered to take the lead. On March 13, 2018, RedZone hired an intern, Jacob Munoz, a University of Colorado computer science major to coordinate customization of the web site. He continues to work alongside several other volunteer RedZone developers. Other members of the fire community (who wish to remain anonymous) started pitching in.
On April 26th, we registered the domain www.wildfireintel.org. On the same day, the Wildland Fire Community Inc, a Colorado non-profit was formed and applied for 501c3 status with the IRS. We appointed an interim Board to get the website off the ground, develop the initial charter and hold the initial board meetings. In 9 months (approx January 2019), we will give the community an opportunity to vote on candidates for board seats.
To date, RedZone has paid the legal, filing fees, development costs and is hosting the site at Amazon AWS. AWS is perfect since if properly configured, will provide virtually unlimited capacity to scale the web site during times of heavy traffic. Don't expect that yet though, it takes some time to setup.
Ultimately, we want this site and its host organization to be sustainable - at least revenue neutral. That means that the hard costs like web hosting, legal and accounting need to be covered by income. RedZone will continue to volunteer staff time for web development and hosting. Advertising is an option for raising funds. Additionally, several companies and organizations have offered financial contributions and many people have suggested that the community would support a GoFundMe campaign. Once we have 501c3 status, we'll revisit this issue via the forum.
In the meantime, we want to encourage the fire community to use the site. Forums by their nature are "carry your own bag" - you'll get out of it what you put in. Please register and start posting. If you are interested in being a moderator, please contact the site administrator here.