As the Fire Remains Uncontained, Closures to Remain in Effect in and around Mt. Wilson Observatory, Communication Towers

Published : Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 1:42 PM

The U.S. Forest Service has closed several trails and parks around the Mt. Wilson area and will continue the closure through the weekend due to the wildfire near the Mt. Wilson Observatory.

Currently, the Santa Anita Canyon trails are closed, as well as Eaton Canyon and Hodges and Spruce Grove campgrounds.

Punky Moore, Public Affairs officer for the Angeles National Forest, said the fire was 25 percent contained as of today. So far the fire has burned approximately 50 acres of the Angeles National Forest, as firefighters from different jurisdictions struggle to contain and prevent the flames from damaging the Mt. Wilson Observatory and communication towers on the mountain.

Moore said they hope the wind doesn’t shift which could possibly further delay containment and endanger the observatory and communication towers on the mountain. However, they are cautious about this weekend’s forecast.

“All of the closures that we have right now are going to extend through the weekend. And that’s for Firefighter and Public safety,” Moore continued, “and that’s in consideration of the Santa Ana winds and the the forecast that we’re seeing through the weekend as well. I think any time we see the winds being forecasted to pick up and those Santa Ana winds, we want to just stay on the side of caution through the weekend, because of the increased visitation that we normally get through the weekend. So we just want to keep people out of harm’s way and keep the Firefighters safe while we get through the weekend.”

The U.S. Forest Service continues to receive help from other agencies in containing the fire and preventing further damage or injury. Moore said the Bureau of Land Management is helping, as well as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Altogether, about 300 personnel from different agencies – including the Pasadena Fire Department – their equipment, and 10 aircraft are involved in the effort to contain the Mt. Wilson fire, Moore said.

Lisa Derderian, Spokesperson of the Pasadena Fire Department, said they sent a water tender from the department to help in the fire-control effort.

“We sent our water tender but he was released about an hour ago,” Derderian said Wednesday morning.

To combat the fire Moore said they use a multi-pronged approach.

“We did have several aircrafts helping us yesterday and those were air tankers and the helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts. Moore explained, “So the person in charge up there is the incident commander and they’re the ones that start making the plan for how to attack a particular incident. So that happened out on the ground.”




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