A review of Sonoma County's response to last October's deadly wildfires has found that the county's procedures for issuing emergency alerts and warnings were "uncoordinated and included gaps, overlaps, and redundancies," according to a report released Monday.
The report from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services also said that in the early hours of the conflagration, the "county lacked reliable, timely, and coordinated situational awareness as to the scale, size, and scope of the fires' growth, character, and movement."
Twenty-four people died in the county as wind-whipped fires swept into Santa Rosa and other communities late on the evening of Oct. 8 and early Oct. 9. The blazes destroyed more than 5,000 homes in the county.
The report found that during the critical time period, "Sonoma County had in place an established public alert and warning capability with the means to alert a wide range of county residents and visitors."
The report said a decision not to send wireless emergency alerts to cellphones was "influenced by a limited awareness and understanding of the system's capabilities."