UPDATE: Wilson Fire burns 30 acres near Mt. Wilson Observatory

Firefighting personnel stage on near the television and radio transmission towers to battle the fire on Mt. Wilson Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Photo courtesy of Angeles National Forest

In an all-day effort, firefighters managed to keep a brush fire on Mt. Wilson contained to 30 acres and away from the observatory as well as several TV and radio transmission towers.

At least 30 acres have burned on Mt. Wilson near the observatory since early Tuesday morning with several county firefighting units called in to help the US Forest Service.

The brush fire – later dubbed the Wilson Fire – began shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday in the Angeles National Forest but quickly grew, prompting ANF fire officials to seek the help of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

At 2 p.m., about 10 hours after the fire began, US Forest Service officials reported the fire to be only 5 percent contained.

By 5 p.m., the Wilson Fire was 10 percent contained.

“We stayed around 30 acres without any big pushes,” said Punky Moore, spokeswoman for the US Forest Service.

“We have a lot of resources deployed,” she said. “We had plenty of aircraft on it all day.

“We did have a lot of hot spots,” Moore said.

Early in the firefight, as the fire got closer to the Mt. Wilson Observatory officials had fears the fire would reach it.

“It (observatory) was evacuated this morning,” Moore said. “Right now, that threat has decreased.”

How close did the fire get to the observatory? “We’re trying to figure that out,” Moore said.

More than 300 firefighters and at least seven water-dumping helicopters remain deployed at the fire, Moore said.

Inspector Randall Wright, of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, listed county resources devoted to the fire as including: two battalion chiefs, six fire engines, four camp crews, and two helicopters.

“We sent resources for a first alarm fire,” Wright said.

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