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Observatory buildings damaged in fire

Buildings at the Siding Spring Observatory in the Warrumbungle Mountains, New South Wales, have been severely damaged by fire, Chris Evans, minister for tertiary education, skills, science and research, said in a statement on 14 January.

Five buildings at the site, which is run by the Australian National University, have been affected. These include the visitors’ centre, accommodation for visiting staff, and 28 homes in the surrounding area.

According to a government statement, the 12 telescopes housed at the site do not appear to be damaged but further investigation will be needed to assess the full extent of the damage.

Evans said the government would offer support counselling for those affected by the fire.