Tag Archives: wildfire

Vandenberg wildfire expands to 12,000 acres

The wildfire at Vandenberg Air Force Base that caused the cancellation of an Atlas 5 launch this past weekend has now grown to over 12,000 acres.

According to officials it is now 45% under control. This map, when compared to earlier maps, shows that the expansion has all been to the west and towards ULA’s Atlas 5 and Delta 4 and SpaceX’s Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launchpads. Essentially, all of the hillsides behind and surrounding the launchpads shown below in a picture I took back in 2015 during my photo tour of Vandenberg are now in flames.

looking south at ULA and SpaceX launch complexes

Update on wildfire at Vandenberg

Despite efforts to be rein it in, the wildfire at Vandenberg continues to burn and spread.

It has grown to include at least 5,000 acres.

The overhead image of the burn area at the link shows three launch sites. The SLC-3E site is ULA’s launchpad for the Atlas 5. The SLC-4E site is SpaceX’s launchpad at Vandenberg. The SLC-6 site was the site originally built for the space shuttle, never used, and has now been redesigned for ULA’s Delta rockets as well as payloads that need to be integrated vertically. For some close-up pictures, see my Vandenberg photo tour from 2015.

Vandenberg wildfire spreads

The wildfire at Vandenberg Air Force Base that caused the cancellation of Sunday’s Atlas 5 launch has spread and remains out of control.

Zaniboni said the fire is burning north to northwest toward two launch pads — Space Launch Complex-4, the SpaceX launch site, and SLC-3, where base officials scrubbed Sunday’s launch of an Atlas 5 rocket carrying the WorldView 4 satellite. Although the fire did not pose an immediate threat to SLC-3 at the time, Col. Paul Nosek said it required the base to redeploy firefighters from stand-by at the launch site.

The Whitewater-Baldy wildfire in New Mexico is now the largest in that state’s history, covering 266 square miles.

The Whitewater-Baldy wildfire in New Mexico is now the largest in that state’s history, covering 266 square miles.

I flew over this fire on my way from Tucson to Chicago on Tuesday. The smoke cloud itself was astonishingly large, extending eastward far beyond the fire itself.