San Diego County Remains In Flames, Radio Reacts
May 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM (PT)
What started out as five separate fires yesterday (NET NEWS, 5/14) is now nine wildfires burning throughout SAN DIEGO COUNTY, threatening homes, universities, a military base and a nuclear power plant. Nine thousand acres have been affected.
"Let's hope for a calm day," County Supervisor DIANNE JACOB told CNN, which reports "additional air tankers and firefighting helicopters will join the effort THURSDAY, according to JACOB. She said she's certain more fires will spring up with the new day, but was praying they wouldn't. The region is bone dry after months of little rainfall and temperatures are brutally hot, especially for MAY. Wildfire season typically peaks over the SUMMER and into the FALL."
"The common theme statewide this year is unprecedented number of fires and fire activity across the state, in many cases two to three months earlier than normal," CALIFORNIA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Dir. KEN PIMLOTT told CNN's 'New Day'."
The heat remains on in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. The National Weather Service forecasts highs between 98 and 106.
Fire Impacts Radio
LFM Alternative KBZT (FM 94/9), AC KIFM and Country KSON OM/PD KEVIN CALLAHAN told ALL ACCESS, "We have a North County signal that simulcasts our Country station. It has been off the air since just after 5p yesterday. Our engineers were able to visit the site today and found the fire had reached the fence that surrounded the facility and destroyed part of the fence. Local fire departments realized that the facility was in danger of being destroyed and quickly and safely put the fire out."
He added, "All in all we have all been lucky although there is plenty of news about people that have lost homes or businesses. The firefighting efforts here have been nothing short of extraordinary. The focus on firefighting efforts is in SAN MARCOS where the transmitter is as well as densely populated areas."
FM 94/9 APD/MD JEREMY PRITCHARD added, "We have suspended all contesting so we can super-serve the community with evacuation notices, fire updates, and donation centers."
MIDWEST TELEVISION Hot AC KFMB (JACK FM)/SAN DIEGO PD MIKE O'REILLY tells ALL ACCESS, "It's definitely busy down here. Other than the SAN MARCOS fire, it appears fire crews are getting a handle on containing the others.
DAVE, SHELLY, & CHAINSAW in the morning were all about updates, and school closings. SARA in the middays is passing along updates as they become available and we're funneling updates two to four times an hour during the JOHNJAY & RICH show during afternoons drive as there are still some areas where traffic is an issue along with any new fire updates.
In addition, sister N/T KFMB-A (AM-760) has been doing continuous coverage in tandem with our TV station CBS-8. I think we're pretty much on the back side of this as long as the winds stay down.
CLEAR CHANNEL News-Talk KOGO-A offered continuous coverage, both on the air and online, with the station's website featuring emergency updates and photos.
CBS/SAN DIEGO KEGY PD CHRIS PATYK checks in to add, "Our morning show host, AJ and his team spent most of the morning getting information out to our listeners -- school and road closures, where to board pets, available hotels, etc. Another message coming from our first responders is to advise our listeners to stay off certain roadways so emergency vehicles have a clear shot.
Post our morning show, our midday and afternoon hosts, JOE ROSATI and TIM VIRGIN, are using their breaks to get information out as it happens. We've directed a lot of information via our website, TWITTER and FACEBOOK as well. AJ and morning producer HULA are in some of the areas that were initially threatened, so they were prepared to evacuate. Thankfully, our incredible firefighters were able to get things under control.
"In a situation like this, you have to deal with things on a moment-by-moment basis and keep close with your team making sure the right information is getting out there. Hopefully it will help somebody out or even potentially save a life."
While stressing the benefits of being live with a local air staff during a time like this, LOCAL MEDIA Top 40/Rhythmic XHTZ and Rhythmic AC XHRM (MAGIC 92.5)/SAN DIEGO PD R DUB! tells ALL ACCESS, “When the fires broke out, we quickly got together to devise a plan. First, we had to be realistic. We will never win as a 'news source'. SAN DIEGO has plenty of news stations, both on TV and radio. What we can do, is 'be there' for our listeners; as a friend or family member would.”
Helping Animals, Too
R DUB! added, “Our morning show on MAGIC 92.5, JAGGER and KRISTI, raced to the front lines to help transport horses and other animals in danger. Our on-air staff and air personalities are not only updating our social media platforms on a constant basis, but also creating content online that can help SAN DIEGO residents during this time.”
MAGIC 92.5’s website even has an update on where displaced people can take their pets for temporary shelter. People can even bring pets that have been found amidst the fires.
Sister Alternative XTRA-F (91X) PD CHRISTY TAYLOR said, "91X is so much more than a music station, we are a part of the community. Not only have we been providing the most essential info on the air, we have also taken the role of being a supportive community friend on the radio, reminding people to follow evacuation orders and open their homes to displaced friends and neighbors. Additionally, 91X has been utilizing social media to push out all the vital info to our listeners. They in return have been instrumental in sharing developments and updates with us, as we have such a long standing history with our audience. There really is a sense of the whole community coming together here in SAN DIEGO."