Chicago : Firefighters fight to protect Wilson Observatory and broadcast towers from Bobcat Fire – .

Firefighters continued to fight Tuesday to protect infrastructure around Mount Wilson as the Bobcat Fire approached the observatory and transmission towers valued at more than $ 1 billion.

“Strategic launch operations are underway to protect the infrastructure around Mount Wilson,” the Angeles National Forest tweeted Monday night. ”Firefighters are taking advantage of the favorable weather conditions. Crews and equipment will be tending the Bobcat Fire during the early hours of the morning.

By Tuesday morning, the size of the fire had increased to 41,773 acres with 3% containment, up from 6% the day before, according to the Angeles National Forest.

Fire trucks were stationed near the observatory to try to protect it, the US Forest Service said.

By Tuesday afternoon, the Bobcat fire was 500 feet from the Mount Wilson Observatory.

“Teams are ready to take fire,” Angeles National Forest tweeted. “Strategic firing is taking place in the south where aerial operations are strengthening bulldozer lines. Crews are working on a spot fire that crossed Hwy 2 near Buckhorn.”

“The Bobcat fire is knocking on our door,” the Mount Wilson Observatory tweeted around 9:25 pm

“Firefighters predicted the fire would approach Mt. Wilson from Echo Rock. They seem to be right. All the observatory staff have been evicted. “

The Mount Wilson Observatory, which was also threatened by the September 2009 station fire, was founded in 1904 by George Ellery Hale, who brought a solar telescope from an observatory in Wisconsin to the sunniest Southern California.

In 1919, it became home to the largest telescope in the world, used to photograph stars and turning the Observatory complex into the most important astronomical research facility in the world. The advanced telescope allowed researchers to better understand our origins and the Big Bang.

Evictions in affected areas

The Arcadia Fire Department announced that the crews were “very successful and productive in keeping the fire front away from Arcadia homes. No home has been damaged or impacted by fire. The evacuation order is still in force. “

The fire crossed the contingency line Monday afternoon and began burning at the ridge line on the east side of Little Santa Anita Canyon, the US Forest Service reported.

Authorities advised residents of Monrovia, Bradbury, Altadena, Duarte, Pasadena and other areas of the San Gabriel Valley to be ready to leave their homes if the flames spread.

An eviction order remained in effect for Camp Williams in the San Gabriel Mountains in Azusa. The property includes a campground, mobile home park, cafeteria and store on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River.

Sunday’s eviction order for Sierra Madre and Arcadia residents in an area north of Elkins Avenue and east of Santa Anita Avenue remained in effect for Arcadia residents and “until further notice” for Sierra Madre, the officials said. authorities. The area includes parts of both cities.

Cu00f3mo to prepare for an emergency

Pasadena officials urged residents to be ready to leave at any time, while officials from several communities at the foot of the hills reminded residents that it is illegal to fly drones over the fire area.

The Arcadia Fire Department reported that 267 Arcadia homes had been evicted.

Sierra Madre police said 32 homes were affected by the evacuation order in their city, where the City Council unanimously approved a declaration of a state of emergency on Sunday.

The Red Cross established a homeless center at Santa Anita Racecourse, located at 285 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007. Residents were encouraged to enter through Gate 5. For more information on the center, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767).

The Pasadena Humane Society said animal control workers would be stationed at the Red Cross evacuation zone to help with transporting the displaced pets back to the Pasadena Humane shelter.

Aerial view of the large silver dome housing the 100-inch telescope (left) and the smaller dome (right) housing the 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory on November 8, 1937 (Photo by Margaret Bourke- White / The LIFE Image Collection via .)

Air quality

The South Coast Air Quality Management District extended its smoke advisory until Tuesday afternoon for parts of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The National Weather Service reported that a wind flow in the upper southeast level was pushing a considerable amount of smoke into the Santa Clarita Valley, Acton and the Antilope Valley Monday afternoon.

Closures due to fire

The Los Angeles Zoo, which closed Sunday due to poor air quality and expected to reopen Tuesday, said it would remain closed until Wednesday.

Highway 2 is closed from Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road to Big Pines, Highway 39 is closed at Old San Gabriel Canyon Road. Glendora Ridge Road, Glendora Mountain Road and Mount Wilson Road are also closed.

Fire containment

Abnormally dry vegetation has been fueling the fire, leading to extreme fire behavior and rapid rates of spread.

The Bobcat fire broke out on September 6 near Cogswell Dam and the West Fork Day Use Area northeast of Mount Wilson and within the Angeles National Forest. The cause remains under investigation.

Full containment of the fire, which will be achieved by removing vegetation, was not estimated until October 30, according to the U.S. Forest Service Authorities had previously estimated total containment for October 15, but revised that date on Sunday.