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Home / park rangers

Brush fire burns near Griffith Observatory; LAPD detains ‘person of interest’

A brush fire scorched about six acres and forced an evacuation of the famed Griffith Park Observatory on Tuesday, and a person of interest was detained.

The blaze was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m. along North Nottingham Avenue on a hill just south of the observatory in Griffith Park. Originally reported as a roughly 100-by-50-foot spot fire, the blaze quickly grew to about four acres, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Smoke billowed up the hill, some of it wafting across the observatory’s famed domes, although the flames did not appear to be immediately threatening he landmark.

Because of the fire’s proximity to the observatory and the thickness of the brush, the LAFD classified the blaze as a “major emergency.”

An LAFD helicopter responds to the brush fire that threatened the Griffith Park Observatory as smoke drifts toward the iconic domes. | Photo courtesy of Henry Berkson/Los Angeles Fire Department

In addition to evacuating the observatory, park rangers were also clearing hiking trails in Griffith Park.

The observatory was closed to the public on Tuesday, per its usual schedule, but all staff were cleared from the building.

The LAFD announced about 3:55 p.m. that crews managed to contain the blaze at about six acres. No injuries were reported during the blaze.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed officers detained a person of interest in connection with the fire. However, no further details were immediately available.

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