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Time-lapse shows the Contreras Fire approaching Kitt Peak National Observatory

The 11,489-acre Contreras wildfire reached Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, a major astronomical research site, early Friday, June 17. Taken from the south view of the observatory, this time-lapse footage shows the fire and heavy smoke approaching The fire began all day Thursday. The fire started on June 11 and has spread north due to “drought-stressed vegetation” and high winds, according to the National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) runs the site. The “steep and rough terrain” made it difficult for firefighters to control the fire. But a crew of firefighters has been working to slow the advance and protect key instruments like telescopes, according to NOIRLab. Photo credit: Kitt Peak National Observatory via Storyful

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