Illumination Technology California's (ITC) "early" warning system is based in Germany. Per ITC elapsed time is 11 minutes from detection to notification here -- that’s not early. Traveling faster than 50 mph, the Tubbs fire was already consuming many homes and lives in that amount of time.

There is an "fire watch" in place locally that is new at http://www.alertwildfire.org.

Again, as per ITC, most fires in small communities are called in by an individual 90% of the time before any early warning detection camera. 

Calistoga started the siren evaluation 18 months ago. The system would have been completed and installed last year if it had not been put aside to accommodate ITC's proposal. That decision put Calistogans at risk by having no warning system during fire season last year and still part of this year. The old siren will likely be installed earlier than the other three. If ITC has purchased or received any sirens, they offered that the city can purchase those to shorten the install time.

Cellular companies (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile/Sprint) have agreed to provide cell coverage during PG&E power outages by providing battery backup generators. This can be an option for Calistoga as well with the towers we already have at the fairgrounds.

ITC recently stated they did not yet have cell companies subscribed to the proposed towers. Companies mentioned that were being solicited are secondary providers like Cricket, not mainstream carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile/Sprint. The two towers at the Calistoga fairgrounds could perhaps have booster service to improve signal if needed. If Calistoga wants cellular infrastructure in public right of ways, that should produce revenue for the city, not a private company.

Many cities adopted telecom ordinances in early 2019 to protect public right of ways and residential areas. By having the CEO of ITC being the mayor (of Calistoga), towers for ITC could not be put on city property. Now that the city is putting sirens in they can. This is a win-win, and ITC can put sirens/cell towers up in the county since there is no conflict of interest there. 

Calistoga can have public safety with IQ cameras that are already up in the county. Everything proposed by ITC, without the cellular infrastructure in our public right of ways or our neighborhoods, and until we adopt a telecommunications ordinance, is acceptable. For more go to https://www.calistogapublicsafety.com/.

Lastly, ITC was offering 4G Technology which is what we are currently using. The new 5G is way, way different than 4G which makes the telecommunications ordinance so important in our town. Just google it. 

Ivan Miller


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