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California Wildfires Threaten Homes, Popular Areas

By: associated press
By: associated press

Raging wildfire menaces observatory, TV towers

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The site that helped develop the Big Bang theory is in danger of going up in smoke.
A wildfire pouring through the canyons in Southern California is within a half-mile of Mount Wilson, where a 105-year-old
observatory used by astronomer Edwin Hubble helped unravel some
mysteries of the universe.
Also dotting the 5,700-foot peak are communication towers. Virtually all of the Los Angeles TV stations broadcast from an
"antenna farm" on the mountain. The city could lose nearly all
over-the-air TV broadcasts to the fire. Viewers on satellite or
cable wouldn't be affected.
Firefighters protecting Mount Wilson retreated yesterday, but they continue to dump fire retardant. They say little can be done
to stop the advancing flames.
Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mark Whaling says, "Whether it runs up to Mount Wilson and does intensive burning or just burns slowly around Mount Wilson, that's up to the fire."

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fire officials say a deadly wildfire that has
blackened a wide swath of tinder-dry forest around Los Angeles has
destroyed a total of 53 homes and threatens thousands more.
The fire has scorched 164 square miles of brush since it broke out last Wednesday. Two firefighters were killed Sunday battling
the blaze. They died when their truck drove off the side of a road
with flames all around them.
The fire also is burning dangerously close to Mount Wilson, home to at least 20 television transmission towers, radio and cell phone antennas, and the century-old Mount Wilson Observatory. If the flames hit the mountain, cell phone service and TV and radio
transmissions would be disrupted, but the extent is unclear.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Smoke is billowing around the iconic
Hollywood sign as firefighters in Southern California struggle to
contain a massive blaze.
The deadly fire has mowed down more than 50 homes and is burning dangerously close to a vital mountaintop broadcasting complex.
The blaze is blamed for the death of two firefighters whose truck drove off the side of a road with flames all around them.
Three people who refused to evacuate have been burned. Officials now say five other people who were reported to be trapped by the flames aren't in any immediate danger.
The blaze in the Los Angeles foothills is the biggest but not
most destructive of California's wildfires. Northeast of Sacramento, a wind-driven fire destroyed 60 structures over the weekend, many of them homes in the town of Auburn.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Residents who lost their homes to the California wildfires have begun returning to the ashes of what were
once their homes.
The biggest fire, in Southern California, has destroyed 53 homes and is threatening 12,000 others. Lack of wind has kept the flames from driving into the hearts of the dense suburbs northeast of Los Angeles.
The fire has killed two firefighters and charred 164 square
miles of brush.
Fire crews set backfires and sprayed fire retardant at Mount Wilson, home to at least 20 television transmission towers, radio
and cell phone antennas.
The blaze in the Los Angeles foothills is the biggest but not
the most destructive of California's wildfires. Northeast of
Sacramento, a wind-driven fire destroyed 60 structures over the
weekend, many of them homes in the town of Auburn.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has toured the Auburn area, where only charred remnants of some homes remain.


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