The main transmitter of KUNC-FM in Greeley, Colo., is off the air due to the High Park Fire, a wildfire covering almost 37,000 acres. “KUNC’s main transmitter is located on Buckhorn Mountain which is directly in the fire zone of the High Park Fire,” says a post on KUNC’s website. “There is no power at the site and as a result, KUNC is not on the air on 91.5fm.” KUNC is covering the wildfire on its website, however. UPDATE: KUNC President Neil Best emailed Current: “With the main signal down we have lost service to a translator in Boulder, the KENC station in Estes Park, and a translator on the eastern plains in Morgan County. All of our other signals are satellite fed or take their signal from one of those sites. Of course we are also on-line and our website is very active with information about this fire.”
Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating an April 2 transmitter fire at KUAR in Little Rock, Ark., as possible arson. [Two weeks later, the station said it was still operating at 75 percent of its usual power.]
The fire, which crippled the station’s signal right before its spring pledge drive, was started by an intruder who stripped copper wiring at the transmitter site, used accelerant to start a blaze, and then put a new padlock on the building to prohibit anyone from entering. Copper wire theft is “a huge problem for radio stations,” according to Ben Fry, g.m.
Fry said he finds it hard to believe that the perpetrator specifically targeted KUAR. The station has not received any threatening voicemails or emails, Fry said. The transmitter and its tower are part of the Shinall Mountain tower farm along with facilities of Little Rock’s major broadcasters, he said.