KNX News Radio just tweeted (and presumably reported on the air) that firefighters have been pulled off Mount Wilson: "Officials expect critical communications point to be overrun by fire about 7pm." In other media, Mark Savage of the county fire department says "It's not a question of if, it's a question of when.'' For what it's worth, here again is the link to the live web cam at the solar observatory up on Mount Wilson.
Yipes, here's the Times' blog post: "It’s a serious situation,” said Bob Shindelar, operations branch director of California Incident Management Team 5. “Is the observatory going to make it? We’re doing everything in our power."
* Not a crisis, but...: Observatory personnel say tonight the threat is not as dire as first reported this afternoon. Blog item at 8:07 p.m.:
A critical aspect to the survivability of the Observatory should the fire sweep across it is whether or not fire fighters will be on site during such an event. The U.S. Forest Service continually assesses the danger to fire fighters in any scenario and will withdraw fire crews in situations that are particularly precarious. Such an evaluation took place on Mount Wilson in the last half hour with the decision for the fire crews to remain in place tonight. That's very good news.
Late-night LAT story:
By 9 p.m. a strike team was positioned to protect the observatory and transmission towers, but the flames had not reached the site at the top of the 5,710-foot peak above Pasadena.
Standing at the base of Mt. Wilson Road, U.S. Forest Service Fuels Battalion Chief Larry Peabody said five fire engines would be at the peak through the night. "Their mission is to defend the antennas, the observatory and the buildings," he said Sunday night...
"It's a serious situation. Is the observatory going to make it? We're doing everything in our power. But I wouldn't be surprised if it is impacted by fire today or tomorrow," Bob Shindelar, operations branch director of California Incident Management Team 5, said Sunday afternoon.