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Fire near Griffith Observatory halted, no longer growing

Flames spotted near Griffith Observatory, in the hills of Los Feliz, on Tuesday, May 17, prompted the evacuation of the LA-area landmark, before firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading around 4 p.m.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

A “person of interest” was detained in the area in connection with the fire, said Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison.

A 50-by-100 patch of burning vegetation was spotted near a Boy Scout trail at 2675 N Nottingham Ave., downslope from the observatory, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said in a 3:03 p.m. tweet.

Flames spread rapidly, consuming 6 acres, but by 4 p.m. firefighters were able to halt the spread, LAFD officials said.

About 92 firefighters were battling the blaze and no injuries were reported, officials said.

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The fire was declared a “major emergency,” and park rangers were preventing hikers from entering  surrounding trails, LAFD officials said. However, no homes were evacuated.

Plumes of smoke were seen wafting over the observatory in livestreamed footage from the hillside, as water-dropping helicopters flew overhead. Ground crews attempting to help douse the fire were working in hilly terrain, with temperatures in the mid 70s and light winds.

The observatory was not scheduled to be open to the public until Friday afternoon, according to its website.

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This is a developing story, check back for more information.


Source: Orange County Register

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