One-Year Wildfire Anniversary: Your Support Helps!

In spring 2011, the massive Rock House and Tejano Canyon fires set West Texas ablaze for weeks on end, scorching more than 490 square miles of land in Jeff Davis County, where the Observatory is located. Fire-related closures and a sharp decrease in visitors meant the Visitors Center suffered more than $70,000 in lost revenue.

In the months since the fires abated, the Observatory got to work on a new fire-action plan to maintain the safety of its facilities and its visitors, building on our previous work with the Texas Forest Service and as a Firewise Community. With the projected risk for fires and drought levels similar to 2011, continued work in this area is critical. And, we take just as much pride in this as we take in our world-class astronomy research and K-12 education and outreach programs for teachers and students.

To help show your support for McDonald Observatory, please make a gift at any level to help the Visitors Center recoup its losses and continue working on behalf of 60,000-80,000 visitors and K-12 students and teachers nationwide.

Gifts of any kind will help. Please make a donation online today, and select "Wildfire Relief Fund" under gift area. Or, send your check to:

McDonald Observatory
Wildfire Relief Fund
1 University Station A2100
Austin, Texas 78712

Thank you so much for choosing to support the Observatory’s work in science education and outreach.


David L. Lambert
Director, McDonald Observatory

McDonald Observatory Fire Truck