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Fire threatens Arizona observatory
Posted: Fri, Jul 15, 2005, 8:37 AM ET (1237 GMT)
A wildfire in the Arizona mountains south of Tucson is threatening a major observatory. The "Florida" fire, named after the mountain peak where the fire started July 7, has approached to within 1.6 km (one mile) of the Fred Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins. The observatory is home to several telescopes, including the 6.5-meter MMT Telescope. Firefighters and observatory workers have taken precautions, including soaking the area around the observatory with a wet slurry and moving expensive equipment from exterior walls. The fire's spread has slowed, but firefighters warn it could still spread quickly towards the observatory under the right conditions.
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