08.18.2021 Updated on  09.05.2021|Public Safety|Emergency Response

Verizon responds to western wildfires

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Heidi Flato
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September 5 Update


Network teams working over the weekend to restore service to the Tahoe area made great progress, bringing all six previously impacted macro cell sites back on air. Crews worked tirelessly to repair broken fiber, which transports data from a cell site to the core of our network, where repairs could be made. For fiber that was completely burned or damaged beyond immediate repair, the network team deployed satellite links or microwave to serve as temporary connection for those sites, connecting those sites with the core of the network via airlinks instead of fiber. Those temporary assets will remain in place until permanent fiber can be restored.

September 3 Update


BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - To help communities impacted by the devastating wildfires in California, Verizon Foundation is donating $20,000 to help bolster relief and recovery efforts. The Almanor Foundation will receive $10,000 to aid relief programs benefiting people whose lives have been affected by recent fires. The American Red Cross will also receive $10,000 to assist with California wildfire relief.

“We believe that helping our communities recover after a crisis is the right thing to do,” said Steven Keller, consumer vice president for Verizon. “We hope that our support of these local relief programs will help people quickly recover and rebuild their lives.”

“We call ourselves the can-do-community, but it is partners like the Verizon Foundation that allow us to step-up and do the things we need to do to rebuild and revitalize what has been lost in the Dixie Fire. The Almanor Foundation is grateful for their support and donation and know the greater community of Plumas County is as well,” said Susan Bryner, executive director of the Almanor Foundation.

"Providing shelter, comfort and care to so many people forced to evacuate the California wildfires is done most effectively through the strong relationships the Red Cross has with community partners,” said Gary Strong, Regional CEO for American Red Cross. “We are so grateful to the Verizon Foundation for its support of our Western Wildfires response. The funds provided through its grant will go a long way to help evacuees in this critical time of need."

For more information on Verizon’s response to the wildfires, please visit our website: https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-responds-western-wildfires.


September 2 Update


For media: we have b-roll, pictures and additional information on our emergency response equipment available at our Emergency Resource Center - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center

What you need to know:

  • Verizon consumer (prepaid and postpaid) and small business customers who have been most impacted by recent wildfires will receive unlimited calling, texting and data 9/1-9/7

  • Some Verizon retail store hours are subject to change due to mandatory wildfire evacuation orders. Please check the status and make an appointment at verizonwireless.com/stores before visiting

For our consumer and small business customers impacted by the wildfires in Northern California beginning Wednesday September 1, through Tuesday September 7, Verizon is providing unlimited calling, texting and data to those customers who reside in areas most impacted by active wildfires. Accounts with billing addresses in the following zip codes are included:

Caldor Fire:

95626, 95629, 95634, 95636, 95666, 95667, 95684, 95684, 95709, 95720, 95721, 95726, 95735, 96150

Dixie Fire:

95915, 95923, 95934, 95942, 95947, 95954, 95971, 95983, 95984, 96020, 96056, 96061, 96075, 96103, 96109, 96113, 96114, 96121, 96122, 96130, 96137

French Fire:

93226, 93285, 93308

Monument Fire:

95527, 96010, 96041, 96046, 96048

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer.

Because the wildfires may affect our normal store hours in certain areas, we recommend shopping and accessing customer assistance online at https://www.verizon.com/business/ or by using the MyVerizon app. If you’d rather visit a store, you can find the nearest Verizon location and schedule an appointment by visiting: https://www.verizon.com/stores.

Our Verizon Response Team is available 24/7 to deliver Verizon Frontline technologies including on-demand, emergency assistance for first responders. We mobilize Verizon Frontline drones, charging stations, WiFi hotspots, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to help enable mission-critical communications for local, state and federal agencies across the U.S. First responder customers with wireless priority service should utilize *272 or download the Priority Telecommunications Services app when placing calls.

Here’s a quote from one of our local leaders:

“Across the West, people are living with the anxiety that comes with every wildfire season,” said Steven Keller, Verizon Consumer Group Vice President. “We hope this offer will give our customers one less thing to worry about, so they can focus on staying safe during this stressful time.”

September 1 Update


For media: we have b-roll, pictures and additional information on our emergency response equipment available at our Emergency Resource Center - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center

Verizon Response Team

The Verizon Response Team has responded to over 90 named wildfires and received 262 requests for assistance from public sector agencies. Additionally, more than 1,363 Verizon Frontline solutions (e.g. tablets, hotspots, repeaters, smartphones, routers, or other needed devices) have been loaned to first responders across the West this wildfire season.

Support for recent and current incidents includes:

  • Arizona: 31 deployments / 273 solutions

  • California: 84 deployments / 350 solutions

  • Colorado: 16 deployments / 110 solutions

  • Idaho: 21 deployments / 92 solutions

  • Montana: 30 deployments / 176 solutions

  • Nevada: 2 deployments / 25 solutions

  • New Mexico: 7 deployments / 94 solutions

  • Oregon: 34 deployments / 247 solutions

  • Utah: 3 deployments / 14 Solutions

  • Washington: 30 deployments / 229 solutions

  • Wyoming: 4 deployments / 19 solutions

  • 47 of the above solutions were portable satellite assets deployed to provide assistance to public safety operations

  • Support for American Red Cross evacuation resource centers serving communities impacted by the Dixie Erbes Fires and the South Fire

Find out how Verizon Frontline, the advanced network and technology built for first responders, and the Verizon Response Team have been keeping fire crews connected in our July 23 Up To Speed episode.

August 31 Update


For media: we have b-roll, pictures and additional information on our emergency response equipment available at our Emergency Resource Center - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center

Network Update:

There are currently 15 active fires burning in California and Verizon is seeing some impact from the widespread devastation. With the Caldor Fire conditions deteriorating and the Dixie Fire conditions also worsening, we are carefully watching our network facilities in those areas. Currently, Verizon has nine sites out of service, with restoration efforts slowed due to unsafe conditions. The situation remains very dynamic, and as the areas impacted become safer and more accessible, Verizon engineers are prepared with mobile network assets to restore service for residents and first responders as quickly as possible.

Verizon engineers have currently deployed a dozen mobile assets including portable cell sites, portable generators and satellite link trailers throughout fire impacted areas to assist fire departments and first responders with their fire-fighting and disaster recovery efforts.

The Verizon Response Team (VRT) stands ready 24/7, 365 days a year to support first responders. We are in contact with federal, state and local emergency management teams and are coordinating communication needs and efforts with them.

August 18 Update


For media: we have b-roll, pictures and additional information on our emergency response equipment available at our Emergency Resource Center - https://www.verizon.com/about/news/emergency-resource-center

What you need to know:

  • Verizon consumer (prepaid and postpaid) and small business customers who have been most impacted by recent wildfires will receive unlimited calling, texting and data 8/20-26

  • Some Verizon retail store hours are subject to change due to mandatory wildfire evacuation orders. Please check the status and make an appointment at verizonwireless.com/stores before visiting

For our consumer and small business customers impacted by the wildfires in Northern California beginning Friday, August 20 through Thursday, August 26, Verizon is providing unlimited calling, texting and data to those customers who reside in areas most impacted by active wildfires. Accounts with billing addresses in the following zip codes are included:

Caldor Fire:

00051, 00052, 95626, 95629, 95634, 95636, 95666, 95667, 95684, 95709, 95720, 95726

Dixie Fire:

00012, 00028, 00031, 00038, 95915, 95923, 95934, 95942, 95947, 95954, 95971, 95983, 95984, 96020, 96056, 96061, 96075, 96109, 96113, 96114, 96121, 96122, 96130, 96137

McFarland Fire:

00037, 96022, 96076, 96080

Monument Fire:

00039, 95527, 96010, 96041, 96046, 96048

Customers do not have to take any action to take advantage of the offer.

Because the wildfires may affect our normal store hours in certain areas, we recommend shopping and accessing customer assistance online at https://www.verizon.com/business/ or by using the MyVerizon app. If you’d rather visit a store, you can find the nearest Verizon location and schedule an appointment by visiting: https://www.verizon.com/stores.

Our Verizon Response Team is available 24/7 to deliver Verizon Frontline technologies including on-demand, emergency assistance for first responders. We mobilize Verizon Frontline drones, charging stations, WiFi hotspots, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to help enable mission-critical communications for local, state and federal agencies across the U.S. First responder customers with wireless priority service should utilize *272 or download the Priority Telecommunications Services app when placing calls.

Here’s a quote from one of our local leaders:

“Across the West, people are living with the anxiety that comes with every wildfire season,” said Steven Keller, Verizon Consumer Group Vice President. “We hope this offer will give our customers one less thing to worry about, so they can focus on staying safe during this stressful time.”

August 17 Update


What you need to know:

  • Verizon’s network is performing well in wildfire areas throughout the Western U.S.

  • Keeping customers connected during public safety power shutoff events

  • Ongoing Verizon Response Team support for first responders

Network status

In the midst of wildfires raging across much of the west, Verizon’s network is continuing to perform well, supporting residents and first responders in the impacted areas. In response to the historic Dixie Fire, our teams mitigated disruption to service from destruction of fiber by deploying satellite links and microwave links to serve as alternatives to the fiber until the damaged fiber connections are repaired or replaced. For sites without commercial power or permanent generators, our engineers have deployed portable generators to provide power to our facilities and continue refueling operations to keep our sites running for customers and first responders.

Overall, the network continues to perform well due to our robust diversity planning with multiple power sources and connectivity, and the efficiency of our teams who are managing incidents as they arise and as it is safe to do so.

We continue supporting our first responders across the west, deploying Verizon Frontline technologies including 14 temporary satellite-linked cell sites, portable generators and other mobile assets to support their emergency management efforts. We will continue coordinating our efforts with state and local leaders and first responders to ensure alignment on priority communities.

Public Safety Power Shutoffs

We know how important it is to stay connected when the power goes out. We’re committed to making sure Verizon customers can use their mobile devices during commercial power outages, including PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events in Northern California.

Verizon has backup batteries at all our macro cell sites (towers) and permanent generators at the majority of our cell sites and all of our switch locations (network nerve centers), which we're able to refuel during extended power outages. These backup energy sources help keep our network running when commercial power is lost.

Verizon Response Team

Our Verizon Response Team is available 24/7 to deliver Verizon Frontline technologies including on-demand, emergency assistance for first responders. We mobilize Verizon Frontline drones, charging stations, WiFi hotspots, devices, special equipment, emergency vehicles and more to help enable mission-critical communications for local, state and federal agencies across the U.S. First responder customers with wireless priority service should utilize *272 or download the Priority Telecommunications Services app when placing calls.

Here are some of the things we’ve done this season:

  • The Verizon Response Team has responded to over 90 named wildfires and received 214 requests for assistance and more than 1,319 devices have been loaned to first responder agencies across the West this wildfire season. Support for recent and current incidents includes:

    • Arizona: 31 deployments / 273 solutions

    • California: 64 deployments / 266 solutions

    • Colorado: 16 deployments / 110 solutions

    • Idaho: 9 deployments / 54 solutions

    • Montana: 20 deployments / 153 solutions

    • Nevada: 2 deployments / 25 solutions

    • New Mexico: 7 deployments / 94 solutions

    • Oregon: 25 deployments / 209 solutions

    • Utah: 2 deployments / 4 Solutions

    • Washington: 14 deployments / 111 solutions

    • Wyoming: 3 deployments / 19 solutions

  • 40 of the above solutions were portable satellite assets deployed to provide assistance to public safety operations

  • Support for American Red Cross evacuation resource centers serving communities impacted by the Dixie Erbes Fires

Find out how Verizon Frontline, the advanced network and technology built for first responders, and the Verizon Response Team have been keeping fire crews connected in our July 23 Up To Speed episode.

Related links:

https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-response-customers-impacted-dixie-fire

Emergency preparation and safety tips

Visit Verizon's Emergency Resource Hub for more info on our response efforts.

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