01.18.2010 05:00 PM
Storms Threaten Access to Mt. Wilson
AngelesCrestHwyANGELES NATIONAL FOREST: The raging wildfires of last fall continue to make life difficult for the TV transmitter engineers in Los Angeles. The terrain denuded of vegetation is now vulnerable to mudslides from driving rains hitting the West Coast. One of the heaviest storm systems in years is expected to dump several inches of rain across Southern California, an effect of El Niño throughout the week.

Mt. Wilson, where the transmitter facilities are located for TV stations serving Los Angeles, is in an area where 16 or more inches of rain is predicted. The main road in, the Angeles Crest Highway, was closed between Mt. Wilson and Mt. Islip as of Sunday evening, the Los Angeles Times said. The heaviest rains on Mt. Wilson are expected today.

Fire officials in the affected area are preparing rescue teams for flooding emergencies. Michael McIntyre of the Los Angeles River Ranger District indicated in Bob Gonsett’s CGC Communicator that access to Mt. Wilson could be off limits as long as a week.

The wildfires that ravaged the mountains north of Los Angeles included the Station Fire, which burned 160,577 acres. (See “Mt. Wilson Flooded with Phos-Chek”)It started Aug. 26, 2009 and was not considered fully contained until Oct. 16, 2009, though firefighters continued to dump water on hotspots.

(Image by Anthony Citrano)

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