Los Angeles area 'Bobcat Fire' threatens century-old observatory

Pablo Tucker
September 18, 2020

The Bobcat Fire, which first ignited on September 6, has burned through 50,539 acres and was 3% contained as of Thursday morning.

The Arcadia Fire Department reported that 267 Arcadia homes had been evacuated and no homes were damaged by the fire.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she has signed a proclamation declaring a local emergency in the county because of the fire and requested a state proclamation.

An evacuation order was issued Sunday morning for residents in parts of the City of Arcadia in Southern California as a massive wildfire is burning closer to the populated communities.

"Welcome home Arcadia", the Arcadia Fire Department tweeted Wednesday evening. Nearby, there is a forest of TV and radio broadcast towers serving the greater Los Angeles region. Firefighting efforts are focused on securing the south end of the blaze, near threatened foothill communities, as well as near Camp Trask, where the fire is "holding the line", officials said.

Fire crews have fended off flames threatening Los Angeles' historic Mount Wilson Observatory, with smoke from unprecedented blazes across the western United States spreading as far away as Europe.

But the blaze is still only at three per cent containment and behaving erratically, fire officials say, and authorities have ordered evacuations in the area. On Wednesday, containment dropped to 3% due to flare-ups.

The east side of the fire remained quiet.

Since Sunday U.S. Forest Service officials pushed back the estimated time for full containment from Oct.15 to October 30. Officials had earlier estimated full containment by October 15 but revised that date on Sunday.

A tree casts embers as the North Complex Fire burns in Plumas National Forest, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The zoo plans to open Saturday, and urged people who purchased tickets during the closure period to visit the facility's website to reschedule.

In some areas near the wildfire scenes, the air quality is forecast as "unhealthy" level.

"However, our animal care and veterinary health staff are closely monitoring the animals in outdoor habitats and are preparing to respond as necessary".

Flames from a wildfire in the Angeles National Forest outside of Los Angeles came within 500 feet of the Mount Wilson Observatory, the historic astronomic viewpoint where Edwin Hubble explored the universe. The cause of the blaze remained under investigation, according to FOX11. The meeting will be live-streamed via multiple platforms, including www.facebook.com/LACoFD and facebook.com/MonroviaCalifornia; and on a YouTube live-stream via the city of Duarte.

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