The Camp Fire - Phones, Fires and Failures. A Presentation on California Disaster Preparedness by Alan Thompson, W6WN

I was part of a four-person Team called up to Butte County on November 17 to help restore cell phone service destroyed by the Camp Fire on November 08, which decimated the communities of Paradise, Magalia and Concow. As a result of my experience there, I created a Public Presentation covering cell-phone service failures and emergency communications execution that contributed to the chaos and possible loss of life. The Presentation also offers some suggestions on how to help increase safety in other communities equally at risk for disasters on this scale. Working in Paradise and Magalia made me realize that a disaster just like the Camp Fire could happen anywhere in the Sierra Foothills. It could happen in Placerville, or El Dorado County, or anywhere in California.

Presentation outline of The Camp Fire - Phones, Fires and Failures:

First Presentation on the Camp Fire: On January 11, 2019, I gave my first presentation on the Camp Fire at the monthly meeting of the Sierra Foothills Amateur Radio Club. Thanks to Club Member Greg Dolkas, KO6TH, you can see the 41-minute presentation here:

NOTE: This is a work in progress, and the presentation has changed considerably since January 11. I'll update this video soon.

I'd appreciate any additional information, contacts or links you could share concerning disaster and recovery efforts. Please feel free to send an Email to .

Current Presentation Schedule (The General Public is Invited):
March 28, Thursday, 7:00 – 9:00pm
El Dorado County Amateur Radio Club
Federated Church, 1031 Thompson Way, Placerville, CA

April 09, Tuesday, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club
First United Methodist Church, 730 D St, Marysville, CA

April 11, Thursday, 6:15 PM – 8:00pm
Rotary Club of Placerville
Smith Flat House, 2021 Smith Flat Road, Placerville, CA 95667

April 12, Friday, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Oroville Amateur Radio Society
St. Pauls Episcopal Church Hall
Bird & Pine St. Oroville, CA

April 18, Thursday, 5:30 PM – 7:00pm
Placerville Fire Safe Council Meeting
Eskaton Village Center Meeting Room, 3397 Blairs Lane, Placerville, CA

April 19, Friday, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
San Francisco Radio Club
V.A. Hospital, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121

April 23, Tuesday, 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Gold Country Retirement Community
6041 Golden Center Court, Placerville, CA
April 27, Saturday, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Silicon Valley Emergency Communications System
Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont St, Santa Clara

May 7, Tuesday, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Placerville Lions Club
Dennys, 99 Fair Ln, Placerville, CA

June 07, Friday, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association
Cubberley Community Center
4000 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA

July 12, Friday, 7:00 – 9:00pm - "Radio For The Rest of Us"
Oroville Amateur Radio Society
St. Pauls Episcopal Church Hall
Bird & Pine St. Oroville, CA

July 20, Saturday, 11:00am – 1:00pm
NVCON Nevada State Amateur Radio Convention
ARES Track
Boomtown, Nevada

October 18th, Friday, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
PacifiCon Amateur Radio Convention
Mount Diablo ARC Meeting
2600 Bishop Drive San Ramon, CA

Neighborhood Radio Watch by Alan Thompson, W6WN

As a follow up to the Presentation on The Camp Fire, I'm also working a 2nd Presentation, titled "Radio For The Rest of Us" covering the implementation of a Neighborhood Radio Watch Program in local communities:

If your local Club or Group is interested in a presentation (it's free), or you would like more information, please send an Email to .

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Alan Thompson, consultant and installer fixed and mobile VSAT satellite internet systems installation technician, HughesNet, Starband, DirecPC, iDirect, Infinity 3000 Series, Evolution, Shaw Direct, Video Teleconferencing, VoIP telephone communications, remote uplink, downlink Receive-only, TVRO, Mining and Minerals Exploration, Oil and Gas Exploration, Drilling Platforms, Emergency Response, Disaster Recovery, Forestry, Fire-fighting Camps, Dam, Road Construction, motosat mobile satellite, Satellite Radio, Voice Over IP, VOIP Telephone, Baja Satellite Internet Communications, Placerville, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County,Western United States (Northern and Southern California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington), Baja California Sur, Northern and Central Mexico and Baja California Sur (Monterrey, San Luis Potosi, Santa Rosalia, Guerrero Negro, Huatulco, Oaxaca, Cancun, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Merida, Chihuahua, Tijuana, Tecate, Sonora, Rosarito Beach, Tecate, Vizcaino, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas,, Somerset), Central America (Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica) the Bajamas, Haiti, Guatamala, Ecuador, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Managua, Nicaragua, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Yucatan, Mexico City, Zacatecas, Matamoros, Xalapa, Aguascalientes, Saltillo, Guadalajara, Colima, Acapulco, Los Mochis, Mazatlan, Tepic, Hermosillo, Sonora Cuidad Obregon, Durango, Tampico, Veracruz, Campeche, Chetumal, Playa Del Carmen, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area.