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Fire threatens Mount Wilson Observatory & LA TV/Radio Stations

  1. Aug 31, 2009 #1

    jtbell

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    The huge Station Fire near Los Angeles is on or approaching Mount Wilson:

    http://www.mtwilson.edu/fire.php [Broken]

    The mountain is also the site of the main broadcast transmitters for all (or almost all) Los Angeles area TV and radio stations. Local stations have been warning that many people who get their TV with an antenna may lose their signal. Some are apparently using subchannels on low-power transmitters that are not on Mt. Wilson as backups.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2009 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was going to start a thread on this as well.

    Reports this morning indicate that firefighters are hopeful that the observatory and transmitters can be saved, but no promises.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  4. Aug 31, 2009 #3
    The people from the observatory say that the fire is probably not going to get to them. Fires that are close to the observatory were started by firefighters... You can read it all on that link in the OP. In fact I just went back there and they say the observatory has been evacuated but the fires in the area of the observatory have diminished.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2009 #4

    berkeman

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    Two firefighters were killed yesterday at that fire when their vehicle rolled down a mountainside:

    http://cbs5.com/local/Fire.Watch.Angeles.2.1152950.html [Broken]

    Damn. That is one dangerous fire. RIP, firefighters.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Aug 31, 2009 #5
    That's so sad and unfortunate. You must have the most respect for those people who go into situations like these while everyone else is leaving.

    One thing I don't understand is if there are fires in these areas pretty much every year why do people wish to live there?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Aug 31, 2009 #6

    Astronuc

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    This is a seriously bad fire.

    3 critically burned in massive LA-area forest fire
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_wildfires [Broken]

    It's a nice place to live - well outside of the city - without the fires.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Aug 31, 2009 #7
    Is it worth it though? It's something I've always thought of even as a kid. Like why do people live in areas where extreme types of weather come into play and could put you and your belongs in danger. Living near like volcanoes I could see because we can normally determine if they are dormant or still active.
     
  9. Aug 31, 2009 #8
    Why are there trees near the observatory in the first place? :confused:
     
  10. Aug 31, 2009 #9

    berkeman

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    LOL. (it's on a hilltop)
     
  11. Aug 31, 2009 #10
    If it's in an area where fires occur from time to time, why not cut away all the trees in the neighborhood?
     
  12. Aug 31, 2009 #11

    berkeman

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    It's a lot of trees, unfortunately:

    http://www.mwoa.org/ [Broken]

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Aug 31, 2009 #12

    Moonbear

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    I'm not surprised when people live in places prone to disaster, but the LA area seems unique in that people pay a LOT of money to live in those areas AND to keep all those trees in their backyard! In other places, people end up living in flood plains and such usually because it's really cheap and all they can afford. CA is weird, that's the only explanation I have.
     
  14. Aug 31, 2009 #13

    jtbell

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    Actually, there haven't been any major fires in this particular area for forty years (at least according to someone on the news tonight). That's part of the reason this fire is so bad. There's a lot of fuel lying around in the form of dead wood and other plant matter that's been accumulating for all those years.
     
  15. Aug 31, 2009 #14

    jtbell

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    Don't forget all those condo towers on the beach in Florida, waiting for a hurricane to come in. :tongue2:

    Those folks have been lucky because a Really Big One hasn't hit them yet. Hurricane Andrew hit the area south of Miami the hardest, and that area is mostly working- and middle-class. The expensive stuff mostly runs from Miami Beach northward.
     
  16. Aug 31, 2009 #15

    Hurkyl

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    Nah, the rich can afford to use the CIA's weather control satellites.
     
  17. Aug 31, 2009 #16

    Moonbear

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    Oh, now I understand! Thanks for explaining! :rofl:
     
  18. Aug 31, 2009 #17

    mgb_phys

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    I got a message from a friend that still works there.
    The mountain was evacuated in case the road is blocked (and for general liability reasons) - they didn't think the observatory is threatened
     
  19. Sep 1, 2009 #18

    jtbell

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    It looks now the question is not "whether" but "when" the fire will reach the observatory and the TV/radio towers. The observatory was going to set up an alternate location for its fire update page (linked in the first post) in case the power goes out, but it doesn't seem to be active yet:

    http://joy.chara.gsu.edu/CHARA/fire.php [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. Sep 3, 2009 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.kgw.com/business/stories/L_IMAGE.1223cc986ef.93.88.fa.d0.13b9450f9.jpg [Broken]
    http://www.kgw.com/business/stories/kgw_090109_news_evergreen_aviation_firefighting.13b63d366.html [Broken]

    Also a bit of Hollywood trivia: The home used for the filming of the movie, ET, was almost lost, but was one of the lucky ones.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  21. Sep 3, 2009 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Here is the company's promotional video. Very impressive!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvBRWTumoZI
     
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