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Firefighters 'Worked Like Demons' to Save Observatory

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Science  11 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5946, pp. 1325
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1325

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A heroic firefighting campaign that included hacking away the underbrush and low-lying limbs of trees around the Mount Wilson Observatory and spraying fire retardant from helicopters appears to have saved the facility and the three dozen broadcast transmission towers on the mountaintop from the wildfires that lit up the forests north of Los Angeles last week. Harold McAlister, the director of the observatory, shared the panic and the relief in a phone conversation with Science on 4 September.