(Yahoo News) – A major fire that has been raging outside Los Angeles for more than a week threatened to engulf a historic observatory and billion-dollar broadcast towers on Tuesday as firefighters struggled to contain the flames.
The so-called Bobcat fire was within 500 feet (150 meters) from the 116-year-old Mt. Wilson Observatory, fire officials said in a tweet, adding that crews were in place “ready to receive the fire.” Officials at the observatory said all personnel had been evacuated as the fire was “knocking on our door.”
Firefighters battling the blaze had made slight headway in recent days in trying to control the flames that erupted September 6, but containment shrank from 6 percent to 3 percent Tuesday, according to the Angeles National Forest.
“They are in a firefight right now, because it is so close,” LA County Fire Captain David Dantic told the Los Angeles Times, referring to crews positioned at Mt. Wilson. He said the fire, located about 16 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of downtown Los Angeles, had grown to 40,000 acres (16,200 hectares).
“It’s a bigger area now,” Dantic said. “Before, we had 6 percent containment when it was about 30,000 acres, but now the fire has gotten bigger. It’s a bigger footprint. That’s why the containment is down.” READ MORE