Broadcasters Watching As Green Ravine Fire Burns Near Major Communication Site

Sep 4, 2019, 10:51 PM

LAKE POINT, Utah — The Green Ravine Fire grew to over 1,700 acres in its second day Wednesday as crews continued to battle the fire by ground and by air while constructing a defensible space around a major communications site at the top of the mountain.

“We pretty much have the entire fire boxed in by retardant and hand crews reinforcing that retardant,” said fire spokesman Jason Curry. “Going forward, containment is expected to increase, acreage increases are expected to go down.”

Curry said the fire was 10% contained Wednesday.

One area near the fire was getting considerable attention from firefighters as well as those in the media industry.

Crews were making preparations around the grouping of broadcast transmitters on Farnsworth Peak, including one belonging to KSL 5.

Bonneville Salt Lake director of engineering Aaron Farnham said if the transmitters burned, there would be a major disruption to television and radio service, as well as emergency communications in the Salt Lake City area.

“Most every TV and radio (station is) impacted by this,” he said.

In the worst-case scenario, Farnham said it could take anywhere from eight months-to-a-year for broadcast service to be fully restored, impacting over-the-air and satellite transmissions.

“It could be that bad, yes,” Farnham said. “Once the over-the-air is gone, there is no feed.”

Curry said firefighters were currently optimistic the fire would not impact the communications site.

“They do have a really good plan in that in the event the fire did get that close, they’d have a really good defendable spot,” Curry said.

Curry said the cause of the Green Ravine Fire remained under investigation.

“There are some power lines in the area that are being looked at very closely,” Curry said. “We have to look at all possibilities.”

Over 150 firefighters were battling the blaze as of Wednesday evening. Another 40 expected to join the fight Thursday morning.

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Broadcasters Watching As Green Ravine Fire Burns Near Major Communication Site