UCI News

Web site launched to help California wildfire victims

<![CDATA[UC Irvine informatics professor Bill Tomlinson and a team of students have created a free Web site, www.CalFireHelp.com,…]]>

October 25, 2007

UC Irvine informatics professor Bill Tomlinson and a team of students have created a free Web site, www.CalFireHelp.com, to help residents displaced by the Southern California wildfires find temporary housing by electronically matching them with others who would like to offer assistance. After entering some basic information about their location and situation, guests and hosts can then search the database for people who might be good matches, based on proximity and other attributes. The site keeps user information anonymous and private until the system determines that a suitable match has been found, at which point more detailed contact information is provided to both parties. The site, which was developed overnight in a lab at California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology, also includes fire information from a variety of news and information sources.