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Morning Briefing: Protecting The Mt. Wilson Observatory

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Good morning, L.A.

The Bobcat Fire is still raging in the Angeles National Forest, having grown to consume 41,231 acres. It was at 6% containment earlier this week, but that number has dwindled to 3% thanks to the flames’ rapid spread.

As of Tuesday evening, the fire was closing in on Mt. Wilson and the Mt. Wilson Observatory – the 114-year-old structure that’s home to 18 groundbreaking telescopes and some of the most important astronomical developments in recent times. In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble discovered the Andromeda galaxy from the observatory using a 100-inch telescope, which led to the identification of the universe. Later, Hubble would find that the universe is still expanding – a central tenet of the Big Bang theory.

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Firefighters are aggressively defending the structure, notes KPCC’s Jacob Margolis, but the blaze is closing in.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, September 16

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Aaron Mendelson deconstructs the false and misleading statements made by L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva concerning his department’s arrest of KPCC reporter Josie Huang. Huang was taken into custody as she documented the arrest of a protester outside the hospital in Lynwood where two wounded deputies were being treated.

LAist staff and reporters will have ongoing coverage of the Bobcat and El Dorado Fires.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Wildfires: The Bobcat Fire has burned 41,231 acres in the Angeles National Forest, and is at 3% containment. It’s closing in on the 114-year-old Mount Wilson Observatory, arguably one of the world's most important spots for scientific discovery. The El Dorado Fire has burned 17,598 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest, and is at 54% containment.

Organized Crime: The FBI, LAPD and LASD announced federal indictments of two dozen members or associates of Asian organized crime in Southern California.

California Kids: The NAACP-CA is opposing Prop 15, claiming it could hurt small Black-owned businesses, while supporters say it will help underfunded schools. Here's what we know about LAUSD's plan to offer COVID-19 tests to teachers and students.

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Photo Of The Day

The sun peaks through smoke filled skies due to the Bobcat Fire.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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