The fire on Santa Catalina Island that burned more than 4,000 acres is contained. The Los Angeles County Fire Department is looking into the cause.
One home and six industrial businesses were burned; no one was seriously injured, according to published accounts, though I’ve learned that a Crawford Broadcasting chief engineer was indeed hurt in a related run-in with a tractor.
Crawford Broadcasting DOE Cris Alexander tells me fire officials continued their investigation at the transmitter site for KBRT(AM) in Avalon yesterday. Crawford is cooperating in the investigation of what caused the fire.
KBRT is operating from its back-up generator because the fire burned telephone and power lines. The station succeeded in getting a satellite uplink and downlink operating at the site to use as an STL so that it doesn’t have to program from the transmitter site anymore, Alexander said.
Contract workers from Allstate Tower out of Henderson, Ky., hired by KBRT, were apparently cutting steel antenna cable with a gas-powered circular saw when the fire started last Thursday, according to The San Diego Union Tribune. The report quoted KBRT CE Bill Agresta as saying he had warned the contractors not to use the equipment because the island was dry.
Crawford could not comment on the cause of the fire, Alexander said.
He told me Agresta is recovering from three broken ribs sustained from a collision with his tractor, commandeered by one of the contract workers, during the fire.
Ferry boats bringing tourists to the island resumed operations on Monday.