Wildfire At Vandenberg Stabilizes, Threat To Launchpads Reduced

Officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base, in Lompoc--just North of Santa Barbara--said that the wildfire raging on the base has stabilized, and that the fire boundry is now "relatively stable" and not likely to spread beyond containment lines. Although the base has not given containment numbers, they said that it is expecting winds to shift to the northwest today, helping the 1,000 firefighters on the scene with control of the fire. The brush fire had earlier been threatening launch pads on the base, which is used by a number of companies--including Hawthorne-based SpaceX, and the United Launch Alliance. The fire had delayed a launch by ULA which had been planned for the weekend. SpaceX also has satellites in preparation for a future launch from Vandenberg, although those SpaceX launches already were delayed by an explosion of one of its Falcon 9's in Florida last month. Photo of the fire from earlier this week courtesy the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.