David Cendejas, the superintendent at Mount Wilson Observatory, will share his first-hand Bobcat wildfire experiences Monday, Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. via Zoom. The event will be presented by the Pasadena Senior Center.
The Bobcat wildfire in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Pasadena was the second largest wildfire in the history of Los Angeles County. It began Sept. 6, 2020, and finally was 100 percent contained two months later after having burned 115,796 acres in and around the Angeles National Forest. Nearly 300 firefighters from multiple fire departments fought the massive wildfire valiantly and six were injured.
There was one particular historic jewel at the south end of the Bobcat area: Mount Wilson Observatory, which was in almost constant danger of being destroyed by the wildfire that often came within 500 feet.
Cendejas worked with firefighters who faced and then turned back the wildfire to save the beloved landmark. He also helped conceive the plan for restoring the observatory due to damage from smoke, ash and water. When it reopens, it once again will be available to professional astronomers and the public.
To register for this free Zoom event, visit www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org and click on Events, Clubs and Lectures, then Online Events or call 626-795-4331. Everyone who registers will receive an email link for accessing the Zoom event.
For the first half of the 20th century, Mount Wilson was the most famous observatory in the world, and the four largest telescopes in the world were there at the time. It was founded in 1904 by Pasadena resident George Ellery Hale, a pioneer in the field of astrophysics and a world-renowned solar astronomer who co-founded Caltech and helped create the plan for the Pasadena Civic Center from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to the Pasadena Central Library.
For more information about online activities and other programs and services of the Pasadena Senior Center during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org or call 626-795-4331.
The center, at 85 E. Holly St., is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit organization. Doors are open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for social services and other critical assistance to older. adults in need. Masks are required inside the building, and social distancing is maintained.