It all began back around 2002 with the emergence
of a cadre of progressives in Lincoln County.
Many important public issues emerged over this period, ranging from situations such as dealing with the proposed Yaquina Bay ship breaking project, hosting public candidate forums during elections, promoting Ceasefire gun safety activities, and sundry other social, cultural and political community issues.
In the course of these efforts we came to realize that the community would be better served in the long run if we could develop some sort of a persistent, stable, adaptable, and publicly accessible communication platform to bind our community together.
A radio station would suit our needs nicely, we reasoned.
Casting about for inspiration and ideas we encountered the Prometheus Radio Project (PRP) sometime in 2007.
Prometheus is a non profit organization dedicated to encouraging and assisting the construction of community FM radio stations across the country.
We were informed that a rare opportunity to apply for a non commercial radio license was immanent, and were encouraged and guided to prepare and submit a non-commercial radio license application as soon as possible because the opportunity would not repeat itself for at least a decade.
So that is what we did.
It is the case that non-profit FM radio licenses are only granted to certain eligible organizations and entities, and so we found ourselves in need of a properly formed non-profit organization to serve as the station’s responsible legal owner.
Fortunately, Rose Jade, a local lawyer, generously offered to transfer ownership of Firebare , an already established 501c3, to us for this project.
That is how KYAQ came to be a project of Firebare.
With critical support from PRP lawyers and engineers Firebare assembled and submitted an application for a new non-commercial full power FM radio license in Lincoln County to the FCC.
Our application was denied.
Since there was only room for one new FM station in our region, the FCC awarded that single available slot to a local Newport church on the grounds that the church’s proposal entailed a stronger signal that would reach more people.
Firebare contested that decision on the grounds that the church’s project was not controlled by a proper local entity.
The FCC reconsidered their decision, rescinded the permit for the church and granted it to Firebare instead.
At that point KYAQ hired Alan Searle, a resident of Toledo, and the only person in our organization with actual experience operating a radio station.
He negotiated the rental of a large class room at the Olalla Center in Toledo to serve as our studio, and furnished it with the necessary equipment to produce programs and deliver the audio stream from the studio to the remote transmitter.
Initially we had obtained permission from PUD to locate our antenna on their tower. But the PUD offer expired during the time consumed challenging the church’s license application, and the space on the PUD tower was leased to some other client in the interim.
Alan then arranged for space on another local tower  where our antenna was installed and KYAQ has been on the air more or less continuously ever since.
KYAQ became the first and only Lincoln County community radio station when it signed on the FM dial at 91.7 on January 3, 2014, serving listeners from Lincoln City to Burnt Woods to Yachats, and 30 miles out to sea. KYAQ is streamed live on KYAQ.org.
KYAQ is a registered 501(c)3 under the name Firebare and is an all-volunteer run station. KYAQ moved its studio approximately three years ago from Toledo to Newport.
It has an active Board of Directors who continues to ensure its financial stability, and that its programming meets its mission.
Because KYAQ receives its funding solely from the community, underwriters and non-profit grants, it can provide information, education, and entertainment to all segments of the community, without regard to commercial concerns.
 Firebare: “… from Saxon, a beacon or high tower by the seaside, wherein are continual lights, either to direct sailors in the night, or to give warning of the approach of an enemy.”
 Ocean Beach Radio, Newport, OR.
Written by long-time board member and first Treasurer, John Edstrom, and Station Manager, Bill Dalbey.