Emergency Alerts Get Scrutiny After Deadly Wildfires
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — After fast-moving wildfires left at least 23 bodies in their wake, California fire officials say they will assess the effectiveness of emergency alert systems.
Communities in the wildfire-prone state use an array of electronic systems to send out alerts to residents when they need to evacuate, including text messages and emails.
But it might not be possible to reach everyone in danger, with so little time to react.
State fire agency Chief Ken Pimlott said Wednesday that many people were in bed when the fires hit communities Sunday night and there was "little time to notify anybody by any means."
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said thousands of texts were sent warning residents to flee.
But some evacuees said they were never warned of the danger.