The airwaves of KOFH(FM) “Radio Maxima 99.1” in Nogales, Ariz., have been completely silent since Dec. 16, due to a massive fire that destroyed its broadcast tower.
The owner of the station, Oscar Felix, Sr., has told Radio World that they have a new tower and location ready to be used but are currently waiting on the FCC’s approval to get back on air.
“At this moment we are having a conversation with them [the FCC], we’re going step-by-step and we don’t want to go with the 301 form because it’s going to take three or four months minimum. So I’m trying to put everything together and let the FCC know this is an emergency case,” said Felix, who is also an on-air host at the bilingual, news and talk station.
Felix is meeting with his station’s engineer this week to go over details about the replacement tower but is still unsure on an expected time when he’ll be back on-air. In the meantime, KOFH has been streaming its normal schedule of programming online.
The destroyed KOFH(FM) tower was employed for 19 years and was 325 feet tall. The new tower, which Felix Sr. has acquired with the help of a Nogales-area friend and telecommunications site owner, Anthony Sedgwick of Summit Properties Inc., is approximately 55 feet tall and sits on a mountain at approximately 4,400 feet above sea level.
Radio Maxima 99.1 also transmits in Sonora, Mexico. According to KVOA Tucson, the fire started at a recycling plant and took fire crews three days to contain it.
A Gatlinburg, Tenn., station also recently had their tower and building destroyed
by a massive forest fire.