MOUNTAIN HOME -- The wildfire that raced north of Mountain Home on Monday nearly devoured KTVB's remote translator station serving KTFT in Twin Falls.
The small concrete building is located just off I-84, near exit 99, southeast of Mountain Home.
Microwave transmitter equipment operating inside the building allows KTVB's signal to be re-broadcast throughout southern Idaho.
KTVB engineer Beau Stenkamp says he noticed the station had reverted to emergency back-up power around 5 p.m. Monday. Stenkamp says that's because the power poles leading to the station were completely destroyed in the Benwalk Fire.
However, as engineers attempted to assess the damage Monday evening, Stenkamp says they were turned back by a freeway closure implemented by the Idaho Dept. of Transportation.
A close inspection of the KTFT translator station around 8 a.m. Tuesday revealed that much of the land surrounding the station had been scorched by wildfire.
"It seems to have blown through pretty fast; it burned the power poles completely," Stenkamp said.
KTVB engineers believe the building was spared because of a well-placed fire break.
The KTFT transmitter will continue to run on emergency back-up power until new power poles can be installed by Idaho Power.
Viewers shouldn't expect any interruptions in the KTFT or KTVB signal.