FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said today he has asked for regular updates on the impact of Los Angeles-area wildfires on telecommunications networks and public safety communications services. “As devastating fires continue to hit Southern California, our thoughts and prayers go out to those in the paths of these flames, and we thank the first responders working tirelessly to combat these blazes,” Mr. Pai said in a statement.
“Given our role to promote the safety of all Americans by ensuring communities have resilient communications networks and remain connected to emergency call centers, we stand ready to assist in any way possible. I have requested regular updates from the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, which is monitoring the impact of the wildfires on communications services and coordinating with our government partners. To date, we are aware of minor impacts to communications infrastructure resulting from the loss of power. We continue to track the situation and are prepared to provide assistance to our federal, state, and local emergency first responders on the ground. Lastly, I am pleased to hear reports that Wireless Emergency Alerts have been used successfully to warn affected communities, including the use of clickable URLs in text messages that give the public direct access to additional public safety information.”