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Showing posts from November, 2018

Improved Public Information System Needed To Save Lives during California Wildfires in the New Abnormal

More lives were lost in the November 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, CA than in any other fire in the state's history. As of November 20, the count had reached 79, with hundreds of residents still missing.
Survivors have complained they received no warning as flames raced into the community of 27,000 and destroyed nearly every structure. 

As reported widely, officials did not activate a warning system that was designed to issue evacuation alerts. Today’s San Francisco Chronicle reports:
“Like Sonoma County officials last year, authorities in Butte County are coming under attack for not issuing a wide-spread emergency message to cell phones, known as a Wireless Emergency Alert, or WEA, when the fire broke out.

“The high death toll of the Camp Fire is in large part due to people failing to learn of the danger and quickly evacuate. Several burned in their cars.”
Officials said the fire was so hot and fast-moving that “devastation is inevitable, especially as the climate continues…