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                  THE CGC COMMUNICATOR
                        CGC #936
              Thursday,  September 3, 2009
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            Robert F. Gonsett, W6VR, Editor
            <cgc (at) cgc333.connectnet.com>
  Copyright 2009, Communications General® Corporation (CGC)
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  FLASH:  ESCORTED CONVOY PLANNED TO MT. WILSON
  Dear [USDA Forest Service] Permittees,
  There may be access [to Mt. Wilson] in the next few days.
Incident Command will tell me tomorrow at noon whether we are
on for Saturday, 5th September or later.  I need to check on
Mt Harvard.
  When access is available it will be by convoy lead by the
Forest Service in the morning from La Canada through the police
checks and by convoy back in the afternoon through the police
checks.  We should be up there nearly a full day.  No hanging
out and independence - which I know is the norm!  We wish to be
as disciplined as possible to not divert the fire teams.
  Availability will be limited to maybe 20-30 vehicles so only
emergency requests should be made.  Access will be available
again a few days later so hold off the routine maintenance
requests.
  Any questions - email me, please do not phone - it is already
ringing non stop!
  Graham Breakwell, USDA Forest Service
  September 03, 2009  -  2:15 PM PDST
  grahambreakwell (at) fs.fed.us
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                     EARLIER NEWS FROM TODAY
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  ROAD BLOCKS IN PLACE
  CHP, Sheriff and Angeles Forest National Law Enforcement have
apparently closed off all road access to Wilson for broadcasters.
The stated reason is that law enforcement is investigating the
origin of the fire.
  A suspected contributing factor to the closure is that
many people have been showing up at checkpoints without fire
protective gear (Nomex, goggles, gloves).  One fellow in a
business suit reportedly wanted through.  Mt. Wilson could
still burn to the ground.  The next 24 hours are particularly
critical according to one source.
  In addition, the FAA has just issued a NOTAM (Notice to All
Airmen) that flights in an area north of La Canada are prohibited
at this time.  Be sure your pilots are aware of this.  You may
be blocked from air access to Wilson.
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  I'M TRYING THE PALMDALE ROUTE
  Angeles Crest [was] closed as of yesterday afternoon due
to crime scene investigation at Angles Forest to bottom.  Lower
Big T to Angeles Forest to Angeles Crest is the route I plan
to use today.
  RF and Transmission Supervisor, 10:49 AM PDST
  Editor's comment:  Good luck.  See below.
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  INFORMATION DIRECT FROM THE CHP COMMAND POST
  o  The Palmdale and La Canada routes to Wilson should be
  fully blocked with no broadcaster access.
  o  Officials have not yet decided who will be allowed up
  Wilson and under what conditions.
  o  Possibly "pre-arranged escorts" will be used.
  (CHP Officer Barrios, 11 AM PDST)
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  LA CANADA ROAD BLOCK CONFIRMED
  As of this morning, Mario Hernandez of AirCo air conditioning
as well as Wally and Tom Black from FOX were turned away at the
road blocks on the front side of the mountain (coming from the
La Canada area on the Angeles Crest)....
  Larry Lopez, Angeles Crest Services, 9:12 AM PDST
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  EMMA ROAD -- IT'S BLOCKED TOO
  I was turned back by two CHP units @ Mt Emma Road.  No amount
of justification seemed to work.  Didn't want to push things too
hard.
  Tom/Univision, 10:55 AM PDST
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  EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR ENGINEERS LIVING ON WILSON
  The number of broadcast engineers on Mt. Wilson is extremely
limited at this time (10 AM PDST) because of police roadblocks.
Many of the engineers who visited the site yesterday left in the
afternoon and were unable to return today.  CGC's informal head
count shows only these individuals now present:
  Dennis Doty, NBC TX: (818) 840-2232
  Harrison ("Scott") Blake, KTBN TX: (626) 440-1116
  Scott will accept calls only from regular Mt. Wilson broadcast
engineers with emergencies.  No calls from "programming types,
General Managers, etc."
  Mark Pallock is reported to be on the mountain as well,
but CGC has not made contact with him.
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  IMMEDIATE WATER CONSERVATION NEEDED ON WILSON
  It looks like the pumps are down at the well for the main
Mt. Wilson [water] supply.  The upper tank is at 25' and is not
refilling as it was almost 26' last night and this morning it
is reaching 24.
  Crews tell me that they did not have much going on last night
and did not use much water at all.  Kindly let everyone know to
save water until we can confirm the pumps are working or not.
  By the way, I have sent a note to Mike @ USFS to make sure
they are aware.
  Dennis R Doty, NBC TV, dennisd (at) ladigitalnetworks.com
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  MT. DISAPPOINTMENT ESCORTED CARAVAN SET FOR FRIDAY
  Dear [USDA Forest Service] Permittees,
  We have arranged one time access to Mt Disappointment,
tomorrow, Friday, 4th September.  We will car-pool/convoy from
La Canada through the police check point to the Station and
Mt. Disappointment.  Expect to be at the Site most of the day
- so bring lunch and water.
  We will car-pool/convoy back down through the police checkpoint
to La Canada.  I do not know when access will be available next.
Maybe not before the middle of next week.
  Meet the FS patrolman/fireman (which is an Incident Command
requirement) in the white FS truck at 8.30 am, 300 yards up the
Angeles Crest Highway on the right above the 210.  We will convoy
no later than 8.45am.
  Any questions call me 818 899 1900 ext 243
  Graham
  P.S. I think we can accommodate all permittees if they are able
to carpool in advance.
  Graham H. Breakwell
  Forestry Technician (Special Uses)
  Los Angeles River Ranger District
  Angeles National Forest
  Office # 818 899 1900
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  TIME TO REMOVE BRUSH CLOSE TO BUILDINGS
  In the past, Forestry has made it very difficult to
remove brush up against or very close to buildings on Mt. Wilson.
It's about time they allowed brush clearance without worrying
about aesthetics.  A burned out building or fallen tower does
not add much to the aesthetics of the forest.
  Burt Weiner, biwa (at) att.net
  [Just wait.  Industrial-strength brush clearing is occurring 
  as we go to press.  Mt. Wilson is alive with activity.
  Especially formidable is the "girls crew" known to
  annihilate brush and demolish trees in a heartbeat.   - Ed.]
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  SAMPLING OF THANK YOU LETTERS
  Bob, allow me to add my voice to the rising chorus.  You've
done a tremendous job reporting on the Wilson/Harvard wildfire
situation, a matter of great consequence to an important client,
and to me.  I've followed your reports raptly.  I know from
personal contact that FCC staff were also "tuned in."
  Congratulations on and thanks for your exceptional service
to the broadcast community.
  Larry
  Law offices of Lawrence Bernstein, Washington, D.C.
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