UPDATE: Wilson Fire burns 50 acres, 35 percent contained

Firefighters assist with the Wilson Fire. Photo Courtesy of Angeles National Forest

UPDATE 10/18 at 6:22 p.m.

Shortly after 6 p.m. today the Angeles National Forest announced the fire is now 35 percent contained.


The stubborn brush fire atop Mt. Wilson, which after two days is only 25 percent contained, has prompted the weekend closure of a number of Angeles National Forest features.

Since it began early Tuesday morning, the Wilson Fire burned at least 50 acres by Wednesday at noon.

Punky Moore, spokeswoman for the US Forest Service, said the rugged terrain around the Mt. Wilson Observatory has made it difficult for firefighters to find flare-ups and extinguish them.

Crews working the Wilson Fire get briefed on their assignments while the sun sets on Tuesday. Photo Courtesy of ANF

“This is steep and rocky terrain,” Moore told The Signal Wednesday. “So, it’s been rough going for the firefighters.”

And, with the National Weather Service forecasting near triple digit temperatures, fire officials have been hoping for windless conditions at the fire scene.

“With temperatures heating up during the day, those temperatures keep whatever is burning, burning,” Moore said.

The fire has prompted the closure of a number of ANF attractions.

“There are a number of closures in place that will be extended through the weekend,” Moore said.

Closures include: the Chantry Flats gate to the hiking trails, the Big Santa Anita Canyon Trail, Eaton Canyon and the Hodges and Spruce Grove Campgounds.

The brush fire – 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. Tuesday, about 10 hours after the fire began, US Forest Service officials reported the fire to be only 5 percent contained.

By 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Wilson Fire was 10 percent contained and by Wednesday noon, was 25 percent contained.

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 Tuesday. “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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