Lookout Mountain Wildfire Also Affected Ham Radio Operators; Fire Said To Be Contained

  • Monday, October 23, 2023
Fire at High Point
Fire at High Point

A wildfire at High Point on Lookout Mountain that started on Saturday morning not only knocked off the air a local Christian radio station. It also damaged broadcast equipment used by local ham radio operators.

Forestry officials told neighbors that the fire was contained. Three spots of flames could still be seen from the valley below on Monday night.

J103 radio has gone back on the air at 103.1, while work is carried out to restore the main signal at 102.7.

North Georgia ham operators reported earlier, "The W4GTA 145.350 is off the air until further notice. This also applies to the N4LMC 442.650 Wires-X repeater, the N4LMC 224.560 repeater and the N4LMC 144.390 APRS Digipeater/iGate system. In short all systems located at the High Point tower site on Lookout Mountain are down until further notice.

"We have been given full permissions to utilize the Ringgold W4ABZ 146.715 (minus offset and a 67.0 CTCSS tone) repeater. I have pointed all linked repeaters, VOIP nodes, Allstar and Echolink to that repeater. Until the 145.350 is back on the air, utilize the 146.715. A huge shout out and Thank You to David Babb for the use of that repeater.

"On Saturday there was a forest fire on High Point/Lookout Mountain. It spread rapidly aided by high winds and extremely dry conditions.

"There are three towers on the bluff and this has impacted all sites, however ours was impacted the worst so far. Georgia Power was told to shut power down to all sites and we were told to shut down generators. The Forestry Service has put water lines around the buildings, generators and a propane tank at one of the other tower sites. The fire is currently out of control and planes with retardant are being brought in. (By Monday morning the fire was said to be contained).

"All cables from the building to the tower have been either severely damaged or destroyed. At a minimum we will be looking at replacing all cables once we are given the go ahead to do so. The owners of the tower will have to assess any possible damages to the tower itself and/or guy wires/anchor points as well."

A fire tower was once located at High Point, which is the tallest peak on 93-mile Lookout Mountain.

Later, it was taken down and a communication tower was erected at the site.

Officials of the property owner, the Lula Lake Land Trust, said on Monday morning, "If you’re in the Lookout and Hinkle community, you may have seen fire and smoke from a wildfire on Lula Lake Land Trust’s High Point property.

"We do not yet know the cause, but it is under investigation.

"The fire is fully contained. The Georgia Forestry Commission is currently monitoring the situation, and they will continue to do controlled burns to prevent the spread.

"Please note that smoke in the region will be around for the next few days as a result. The LLLT Core Preserve property has not been affected, and daily trails remain open. The Cloudland Connector Trail runs through this property, and also remains open."
View of High Point on Monday morning
View of High Point on Monday morning
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