Monday, January 8, 2018 - 10:45

(TNS) — North Bay lawmakers have introduced a bill to bolster the ability of emergency officials to contact residents who may be in harm’s way — a topic that has been scrutinized since last year’s devastating wildfires.

The legislation, introduced by multiple lawmakers, including state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, would create uniform statewide emergency notification protocols. It also would require all counties to develop and adopt guidelines for using Wireless Emergency Alerts, a federally administered system that can send Amber Alert-style messages to cell phones in a disaster area.

As The Chronicle and others have reported, many North Bay residents said they received no official warning and were blindsided by the rapidly spreading flames that sparked in multiple counties in October.

“The size and scope of wild land fire events in California are only getting worse,” McGuire said in a statement. “It’s clear there are shortcomings in our emergency alert system and residents deserve timely notifications and up-to-date information.”

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