Wild View Yonder

Please visit Wild View Yonder, a collection of aerial photography from Shutter-Eye.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mt. Wilson Surrounded by "Station" Fire (with MODIS satellite image links)

Clean-up burn-off activity from another camera angle 9/11-14.

Clean-up burn-off activity 9/10-11.

A short clean-up burn running from about 9/9/09 18:50 to 9/10/09 02:50.

(updated) The Towercam is back and pointing toward the Hooker Telescope dome. Here's a time lapse from Sep 4 through morning Sep 9. This may be the final installment, as the active sections of the fire are now quite distant from the Observatory. I'll continue to collect images for a while though in case something interesting does happen.

This short time-lapse video was assembled from images captured from the UCLA Towercam atop the solar observatory tower at the Mt. Wilson observatory. It ends when the Towercam dropped offline as a result of fire damage to a communication conduit. The camera has since returned to service.

This is likely to be the final update to this segment as the camera has ceased updating. Speculation is that the fire has burned the telecom facilities that provide internet connectivity to the Observatory. The good news is that the fires in question are backfires set by firefighters. There is reason for cautious optimism that the Observatory will survive this ordeal.

Incident Information [Inciweb]

"Station Fire" Information [City of La Cañada Flintridge]

Observatory Status [Mt. Wilson Observatory]
UCLA Towercam

MODIS Satellite Imagery
9/02 20:55 UTC Satellite image [MODIS]
9/01 18:30 UTC Satellite image [MODIS]
8/31 21:05 UTC Satellite image [MODIS]
8/30 18:45 UTC Satellite image [MODIS]
8/29 21:20 UTC Satellite image [MODIS]

Driving up Angeles Crest Highway in the aftermath of the fire

The roads are closed and an eerie calm pervades the scene. Brush and trees are blackened or just completely gone. Wooden road signs and the posts that once held roadside guard rails are in places completely gone, leaving the metal rail just sitting on the ground. This post-apocalyptic scene continues for miles and miles of road. I did not shoot this video and have not yet seen this place for myself but when it is accessible, I will have to head up there and capture my own photographs.

At the height of the blaze.


The Letter said...

Very clever, and very graphic. And VERY scary!

desertwind said...

I also left this message on YouTube.

Thank you so much. We've been following on the webcam, but this is well done. It's heartbreaking, isn't it?.

BTW, The Mount Wilson Observatory director said there is going to be a "burn-out" set by firefighters in an area NE of the observatory on Thursday 9/10 starting around 9AM & going for about 12 hours (hand & helicopter lighting) . It will be visible on the webcam. I hope you can also animate that.

You may be able to get status updates from this:


The Eye said...


I'm glad to know people are benefiting from this. I'll continue collecting images through the weekend and if there is interesting content, I'll assemble them into time-lapse form. I hope they rotate the camera into position and make sure it's functioning before that burn.

I believe the current video is probably complete so whatever I get from this new event will be assembled into a separate sequence.

I find these videos quite fascinating in that they show us a lot about the behavior of the fire, the smoke, and the wind not obvious without the time-lapse.

I've been following the status page you mentioned, though I hadn't checked it in a day or two. Some amazing photos and videos there. I'll have to make my way up when the roads open and see this for myself.

Thanks for the comments.