Engineers must be going nuts at a bunch of TV and radio stations, what with the fires threatening to damage their broadcast facilities on Mt. Wilson. Several area radio stations without backup sites at other facilities could be especially vulnerable, although information coming out of the fire area is understandably incomplete. Some stations have backup facilities that aren't as powerful as the ones on Mt. Wilson, so reception might not be as strong. From Gary Lycan at the OC Register:
TV stations announced on local newscasts the following: a) viewers with cable or satellite will not see any changes b) viewers with TV set antennas will lose the TV signal, but can watch station's programming streamed on its website. There are no AM station towers on Mt. Wilson, said Scott Fybush, tower site expert with his own Web site (fybush.com). He travels across the U.S. to take photos of transmitter sites, including Mt. Wilson.
From the LAT: "Officials are hopeful that frantic work by hand crews and aircraft dropping flame retardant will protect the communications centers there." All firefighters were taken off the mountain earlier this morning. Firefighters plan to use fixed-wing aircraft to drop fire retardant on the mountain.
*KPCC says it has made backup plans to switch to a transmitter on Lookout Mountain if necessary. The backup transmitter will operate at relatively low power and height, which means that only a portion of the normal broadcast area in L.A. OC would be covered.
Also, as of around 3 p.m., firefighters were hoping that a concerted effort to cut fire breaks and lay down fire retardant would save the Mt. Wilson communications towers. But obviously it's an hour-by-hour deal.