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Firefighters watch as the Kincade Fire burns in Healdsburg, California, in October 2019. Photo: Philip Pacheco/AFP

The Federal Communications Commission is planning a field hearing in California following bipartisan pressure to get out of Washington and hear firsthand how last fall's wildfires affected communications networks in the state.

Why it matters: Power outages prompted by the fires brought cell sites down, interrupting wireless service for California residents. Policymakers hope informed guidance out of Washington could help minimize widespread outages next fire season.

Driving the news: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pressed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a letter this week to hold a field hearing in his district on the wildfires.

  • FCC spokesperson Tina Pelkey told Axios that plans are indeed in the works to hold a hearing in California.

Details: McCarthy said in his letter that a hearing could help inform wildfire-related recommendations the FCC may make upon completing an ongoing review of the voluntary framework that wireless companies formed for bolstering networks' ability to withstand disasters.

  • The House Energy & Commerce communications subcommittee held a hearing Thursday focused on network resiliency bills, including legislation from California Democrats that would require the FCC to hold public field hearings in areas affected by disasters.
  • The lawmakers who introduce the legislation — Reps. Doris Matsui, Anna Eshoo Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman — also urged Pai in a December letter to include targeted recommendations on wildfire responses in his review of the voluntary framework.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the FCC simply plans to hold its hearing in California, and not specifically in McCarthy’s district, as we originally wrote.

Go deeper

More than a dozen injured in downtown Austin shooting

Police tape in Austin, Texas in 2018. Photo: y Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A shooting in a busy part of downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday injured at least 13 people, including two who are in critical condition.

The state of play: Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants. The suspected shooter remains at large, Austin police said. "It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved," they noted, adding the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

Biden to urge G7 to take unified approach to countering China

Photo: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Saturday is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to countering China's rising global influence, AP reports.

Driving the news: The G7 leaders are set to unveil a multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure plan aimed at rivaling Beijing's efforts in the developing world.

Why America's post-vaccine summer is off to a slow start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to put pandemic life behind them, but many of the necessary ingredients for a summer of carefree fun — everything from neighborhood pools to car rentals — still aren't fully available.

The big picture: Labor shortages, scrambled supply chains and simple logistics are all making it harder for a whole range of businesses to meet post-pandemic demand, and that’s making “hot vax summer” a little harder to pull off.