California OES Reports Fire-Damaged Cell Sites Are Being Repaired

The California Office of Emergency Services said today that 64 of the 77 cell towers that were damaged by fire in Northern California have been repaired. A Cal OES spokesman, however, cautioned that “this is a moving fire. As things get repaired, other infrastructure is being damaged or destroyed, so the numbers are constantly changing.”

As of today, as many as 18 fires are burning in nine California counties and an estimated 20,000 people have been evacuated. “Infrastructure is still being assessed and we will not be able to fully assess until we are given access from CalFire to the burned areas. Search and rescue are the priority at this time,” said Robb Mayberry, public information officer for Cal OES.

Internet, phone, and cable services are also being affected by power outages.  According to Cal OES, at the peak of the incident on Monday there were 240,000 customers without power, and at this time there are 52,560.  OES said today that more than 50,000 customers have had power restored within the last 48 hours.

AT&T California, Inc., said it had “made significant progress since yesterday restoring the vast majority of sites affected by fire damage, including much of the North Coast, Napa, and Sonoma County areas.”

“AT&T disaster response teams, including our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team, have deployed more mobile cell sites, equipment, and generators to support emergency responders and customers in areas impacted by ongoing wildfires,” the company said. “In addition to the mobile cell sites on air at two locations in Santa Rosa and the Napa Town & County Fairgrounds in Napa, we’ve deployed an emergency communications vehicle to Napa Valley College. Charging facilities are available at the larger evacuation sites and we are working to deploy additional charging equipment.”

“As the wildfires still burn, we continue to evaluate opportunities to deploy additional equipment once it’s safe to do so,” the company added. Verizon, meanwhile, said today it was extending its initial data relief offer for customers impacted by the wildfires in Northern California by three days, through Oct. 15. —Carrie DeLeon,

Courtesy TRDaily