Tower Fire Keeping Vermont’s WCAX, WPTZ Off the Air

Channels have been unavailable for OTA viewers since Tuesday, Nov. 19.
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BURLINGTON, Vt.—WCAX-TV and WPTZ-TV have been off the air for traditional over-the-air services since Tuesday, Nov. 19, following a fire on the WCAX-owned transmission tower atop Mount Mansfield in Vermont.

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The remote tower hosts antenna for both WCAX, the local CBS affiliate, and WPTZ, an NBC affiliate, as well as Vermont Public Radio and Vox AM/FM. However, only the television antenna for WCAX and WPTZ appeared to have been damaged.

The fire was extinguished by 6 p.m. on Nov. 19. No injuries were reported and the cause of fire has not yet been determined.

As of the time of publish, both WCAX and WPTZ are still off-air.

When TV Technology reached out to WCAX for an update, we were directed to a recording that said the following:

“Currently WCAX is off the air due to the failure of our main antenna at our transmission site at Mt. Mansfield. WCAX engineers and crews from across the U.S. and Canada have been brought in to address the situation. In the meantime, we are working to reestablish connections from WCAX to cable and satellite operators across the viewing area so you can watch WCAX like normal.”

The recording continued to share ways that WCAX viewers could continue to watch, including streaming for free through the station’s website and mobile apps, as well as through paid digital streamers like CBS All Access, YouTube TV and Hulu.

WPTZ offered its own update on its website, in which it said that a tower crew was on-site at Mount Mansfield inspecting the damager and working to restore television service, “though it’s not currently clear when that will be,” the post said. WPTZ informed its viewers that it can still be accessed on Comcast, Xfinity and Charter cable systems, as well as Dish and DirecTV satellite services, as well as through streamed through its website and mobile apps.