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Bobcat fire in L.A. County within 500 feet of historic Mt. Wilson Observatory

Firefighters are battling flames within 500 feet of the 116-year-old Mt. Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles County.

The Bobcat fire has been burning in the Angeles National Forest since Sept. 6, and crossed containment lines overnight. The U.S. Forest Service said crews are fighting the blaze on the ground and from the air, and additional personnel have been brought in to help.

Mt. Wilson Observatory was founded by George Ellery Hale in 1904, and visitors are able to look through its 60-inch telescope that was put in place in 1908. The first telescopes were brought up to the observatory on the backs of burros, and the site has been visited by such luminaries as Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, and Stephen Hawking.

There are also several radio, television, and cell towers on Mt. Wilson, and L.A. County Fire Capt. David Dantic told the Los Angeles Times it is possible there could be disruptions due to the fire, which is only three percent contained. The blaze has now grown to more than 40,000 acres, and fire authorities are concerned that 80 historic cabins and a camp in Big Santa Anita Canyon were destroyed on Sunday and Monday as flames engulfed the area.

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