Wildfire Blazes Near NASA's Calif. Facility

Wildfire Blazes Near NASA's Calif. Facility
This view of the Station wildfire in La Canada Flintridge was taken on Aug. 28 by astronomer Mike Brown from the library at Caltech. The images is looking northeast toward downtown Pasadena and JPL in the dip in the mountains. (Image credit: Mike Brown)

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is feeling the heat from awildfire burning only a couple of miles away, but the research facility isn'tunder any immediate threat, officials have said.

The so-called Station fire is burning in the Angeles National Forest nearhomes on the northside of La Ca?ada Flintridge, according to news reports.The fire is about 2 miles from JPL.

Astronomer Mike Brown of Caltech snapped a picture of thefire's smoke plume from the 9th floor of the Caltech library, looking northeasttowards downtown Pasadena and JPL.

"It looks to me like they are in a sea of calm betweentwo different fires," Brown told SPACE.com.

For now, JPL officials are working with L.A. County firefightersand keeping an eye on the blaze. No evacuations have been ordered so far.

"The JPL fire dept. and other personnel are monitoringthe fire, but there is no immediate danger of it reaching JPL," NASAspokeswoman Jane Platt told SPACE.com.

NASA officials posted this update on the JPL Web site:

"A major brush fire is still burning in the hills northof JPL.? JPL is not in any immediate danger.? The air quality in the area isvery poor, and employees on the premises are being told to stop all outsidework and remain inside."

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Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.