Sheriff: Wildfires point to usefulness of old technology

Updated 11/9/2017 2:51 PM

UKIAH, Calif. -- The sheriff in a remote Northern California county says wildfires last month crippled modern technology including cellphones, land lines and internet.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said Thursday that the disaster points to the usefulness of older technologies like civil-defense sirens and ham radios.

Nine of the 43 people who died in the fires that started Oct. 8 were in Mendocino County's Redwood Valley. The Los Angeles Times has reported that authorities did not order evacuation for the county until an hour after the fires began.

Allman said the fires knocked out some internet and cell service in the first hours and some California Department of Fire land lines.

He did not specify whether those failures slowed evacuation orders. He says officials will work to streamline reverse 911 calls.

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