Bobcat Fire continues to burn through acres in Southern California

West

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 16: Elizabeth Wright with the U.S. Forest Service monitors a firefighting helicopter making water drops during the Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest on September 16, 2020 near Pasadena, California. The fire came within 500 feet of the historic 116-year-old Mount Wilson Observatory yesterday. California’s national forests remain closed due to wildfires which have already incinerated a record 3.2 million acres this year. The Bobcat Fire, burning in the San Gabriel Mountains, has grown to over 44,000 acres. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PASADENA, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — The Bobcat Fire, burning in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, has grown to more than 50,000 miles, the U.S. Forest Service said.

The blaze is still only 3% contained. The fire started Sept. 6 and the cause has not been determined yet.

Evacuation warnings are still in place throughout the area.

Poor air quality throughout Southern California and the West Coast continues to be an issue as wildfires continue to burn.

About 3,392,000 acres have burned this year in California — more than ever before, Cal Fire said. In Oregon, the figure is about 998,000 acres, nearly double the 10-year average.

Firefighters this week prevented the fire from damaging the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, which played a pivotal role in confirming in the early 20th century that galaxies exist outside the Milky Way. The fire came within 500 feet of the observatory but efforts like controlled burns to clear fuel, water drops and clearing brush helped protect the historic building, Angeles National Forest officials said on Twitter.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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