The mountain is home to the Mount Wilson Observatory which played a key role in advancing 20th century astrophysics since it was founded in 1904. The mountain is also home to an estimated $1 billion worth of transmission towers, a key site for TV, radio and government agencies.
RELATED: Bobcat Fire crews race to protect Mount Wilson
Mount Wilson Institute employees already evacuated earlier this week, leaving dozens of firefighters on site to protect the landmark
We give our sincerest thanks to the firefighters who are on the ground defending our observatory as well as the pilots flying aircraft for fire suppression. Here’s a picture from of firefighters crossing the "Einstein Bridge" from the 100-inch dome. #BOBCATFIRE pic.twitter.com/yrbLPtnhJh— Mount Wilson Observatory (@MtWilsonObs) September 15, 2020
Mount Wilson invested in a fire suppression system following the 2009 Station Fire, rebuilding a half-million-gallon water tank with 33 places for the remaining 12 engine companies to access water.
There are also new high-pressure fire hydrants.
Mount Wilson staff says they haven't slept in days watching the fire creep closer to the 5,700-foot-high peak.
"This is a world-significant institution in terms of its instruments, the telescopes, the people who work there, the scientific endeavor that was accomplished there," said Tom Meneghini, executive director of the Mount Wilson Institute.
"This is where astrophysics was invented. It was done on Mount Wilson. The first half of the 20th century was about Mount Wilson. It was the only place in the world where you could do that type of science."