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On Mt. Wilson: Webcam Down, Towers & Observatory Still OK

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Firefighters working to combat and contain the over 140,000-acre Station Fire have managed so far to keep the flames from scorching the historic Observatory and the communications towers that serve many of L.A.'s television and radio stations, as well as law enforcement and telecommunications.

Late last night the Tower Webcam, which had seen an dramatic increase in web hits since the fire became an imminent threat to the region Sunday, went out of commission, but not because it was taken out by fire. LA Now explains:

The UCLA-operated Web camera based at the Mt. Wilson Observatory has ceased functioning due to a server problem, most likely caused by a backfire damaging phone lines that provide Internet service from the site, according to a statement posted on the Web site.

Backfires have been a highly successful strategy employed in keeping the fire from moving into residential areas elsewhere in the massive fire, as well as atop Mount Wilson. Also part of the efforts to keep the fire away were "water and gel drops from aircraft," according to LA Now.