For the past few days the Mount Wilson Towercam, maintained by UCLA's Physics and Astronomy Department, has unblinkingly captured the fierce progress of the Station Fire along Angeles Crest Highway. Now news sources including City News Service and the L.A. Times report that the observatory complex and the communications aerials that serve every L.A. television station are threatened by the topping flames.
City News Service (a subscription-only service) is reporting that the L.A. County Fire Department has reversed an earlier decision to abandon the peak and will now keep a “strike force” of engines to save the critical communications center. While many television and radio stations use direct satellite feeds, CNS says, “over the air TV and FM
signals could be lost, along with hundreds of public safety radio repeaters
that amplify signals from Tijuana to Santa Barbara.”
At 5:42 p.m. today the L.A. Times quoted county fire department
captain Mark Savage as predicting the flames would reach the towers and
historic observatory “in the next two to four hours.”