Why Mt. Wilson matters, as the Bobcat Fire burns near the observatory

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Mt. Wilson in LA County is home to Caltech’s seismic station, which has been recording earthquake activity for a century. Photo by USDA USFS/CC BY 2.0

Flames from the Bobcat Fire have come within 500 feet of the Mount Wilson Observatory, which was once the world’s largest observatory. Billions of dollars worth of other important equipment, such as radio and TV transmitters, are nearby. Mt. Wilson is also home to Caltech’s seismic station, which has been recording earthquake activity for 100 years. Firefighters are defending the area.