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Griffith Observatory to remain closed after brush fire scorches parkland

Javier Panzar, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory will remain closed Wednesday after a 25-acre brush fire scorched hillsides in Griffith Park a day earlier.

The observatory's grounds, roads, parking lots and hiking trails and the areas around the Greek Theatre and Western Canyon will also be closed, according to a statement on the observatory's website. The statement did not say when the observatory would reopen.

The fire is 100 percent contained and about 75 firefighters and heavy vehicles are patrolling the burn area for hot spots in case winds kick up during the day, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

A drone flyover Tuesday showed that ground temperatures were still above 300 degrees, he said.

"Mother Nature is in charge," he said." Even some light wind could blow an ember."

Humphrey said there have been no reports of injuries due to the fire and the he wasn't aware of any damage to the observatory itself. About 25 vehicles were damaged in the fire, he said.

The fire was reported just after 2 p.m. about a quarter-mile northwest of the observatory, according to the fire department. The blaze sent up an enormous plume of smoke that was photographed by park-goers as well as others miles away.

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