KCET revs up wildfire news coverage, advises over-the-air viewers to watch online

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“Right now the fire is the boss,” a supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service tells an LA Times correspondent in this report on fire fighters’ efforts to protect the communications center on Mt. Wilson. Meanwhile, KCET-TV in Los Angeles, one of six pubcasters with transmitters on the site, has distinguished itself among LA’s TV outlets by ramping up its news coverage of the wildfires in the Angeles National Forest, according to the blog LA Observed. Yesterday the station began airing reports on the fire every half hour; SoCal Connected, KCET’s local public affairs series, created a special website for wildfire news. The site includes a video anchored by KCET President Al Jerome, who warns viewers that the station may lose its broadcast signal. Classical KUSC, which also has a transmitter on Mt. Wilson, has begun broadcasting from a back-up transmitter on Lookout Mountain in the Hollywood Hills. UPDATE: With help from KUSC, Pasadena’s KPCC-FM has made back-up plans to switch to a transmitter at the same location if necessary. The transmitter will operate at relatively low power and height, KPCC says in a news release, but will cover a significant portion of the station’s normal broadcast area in Los Angeles and Orange County. Engineers from both KUSC and KPCC worked overnight to set up the transmitter. KPCC is also bringing in reporters from Minnesota Public Radio, its parent station in the American Public Media Group, and San Diego’s KPBS, as it expands its wildfire coverage.