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Stony Ridge Observatory Saved From Station Fire (for now)

3 Sep 2009, 22:07 UTC
Stony Ridge Observatory Saved From Station Fire (for now)
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The huge Station Fire still burns, but it looks like some good news is coming out of the ashes. Fire crews are gradually bringing the wildfire under control as the weather turns for the better. Also, it seems that Mount Wilson Observatory escaped the threat of being singed (although the observatory site did see some controled "backfires" causing smoke and concern earlier in the week).

And now a second, smaller observatory appears to have been saved from the flames...

Priorities

In addition to Mt. Wilson, about 5 miles northeast and well within the Station Fire perimeter, Stony Ridge Observatory appeared to face certain death last night. The observatory, consisting of a single 30" Newtonian-Cassegrain telescope housed in a dome is maintained by amateur astronomers. In fact, back in 1963, the observatory was built by amateur astronomers.

Unfortunately, observatories like Stony Ridge cannot receive the same kind of attention the Mt. Wilson Observatory received as they aren't considered a high priority by fire crews. This is to be expected when there are residential properties, the public and critical communication towers to consider, often sites like Stony Ridge will get sidelined.

After attempts were made by crews to reach the observatory, only ...

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