Bobcat fire: New evacuation warning issued — danger not over for historic Mount Wilson Observatory

As daylight broke over Mount Wilson on Wednesday, Sept. 16, authorities said firefighters held off the mammoth-sized Bobcat fire, preventing it from reaching the mountain summit, protecting history-making telescopes and billions of dollars worth of communications equipment through the night.

But the danger is far from over. New evacuation warnings were issued Wednesday evening for people in the Antelope Valley as the fire continued to spread north and deeper into the forest. Residents of Juniper Hills south of Fort Tejon Road and east of 96th Street East  were advised to get ready to evacuate by  officials. People living east and south of Valyermo Road and west of Bobs Gap Road should also prepare to evacuate. Large animals can be left while space is available at the Antelope Valley Fair and Event Center at 2551 West Avenue H in Lancaster.

#BobcatFire Evacuation Warning issued for the residents of Juniper Hills:
-South of Fort Tejon Rd, east of 96th Street East and south of Valyermo Road west of Bobs Gap Rd.

— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) September 17, 2020



And flames were still threatening Mount Wilson on Wednesday afternoon, roaring like a distant jet engine, tearing through forest and brush on the mountain’s southwest exposure. Hand crews were still cutting containment lines and planning to do more controlled burns to get rid of fuel before the fire got any closer to the peak.

Meanwhile, in an area north of Mount Wilson, near Cooper Canyon, Windy Gap and Big Tujunga Canyon, crews were working to contain a 700- to 1,000 acre spot fire that erupted sometime on Tuesday.

Large swaths of the forest have been reduced to fields of black and white ash; charred trees were still smoking and stumps were smoldering when Los Angeles County Fire Department representatives took a group of reporters into the fire zone on Wednesday.

Crews were still in the area, the high-pitched whine of their chain saws echoing through the canyon, as they removed brush and fallen trees, getting rid of as much fuel as they could to prevent any flare ups.

Meanwhile, helicopters continued to make water drops on hot spots, rotating in and out of the area every 10 to 15 minutes.

It was frustrating for firefighter Richard Hilstein to see this area burned. If there weren’t dozens of major fires burning across the western United States, crews would have had more resources.

“There’d be a line cut around this already,” Hilstein said in an interview Wednesday. “We wouldn’t be able to park here, I’ll tell you that much.”

The fire crossed Highway 2 on Tuesday somewhere around mile marker 44 or 45, he said.

A curvy mountain pass connects the area to Mount Wilson, traversing significant swaths of unburnt and green forests.

“That’s why we’re concerned,” L.A. County fire spokesman David Dantic said in an interview. “There’s a lot of green, but don’t let that fool you. That’s very dry brush, and it’s very steep terrain.”

At this point, the fire has made something akin to horseshoe shape, leaving a thumbprint of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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