Southern California

Brush Fire Burns on Hillside Behind LA Zoo in Griffith Park

A brush fire burned on a hillside Friday morning behind the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park, prompting a closure of the zoo and nearby roads. 

Shortly before 8 a.m., fire engines were not able to reach the location and crews were hiking to figure out how to get water to the fire.

As of noon, the fire was estimated at 30 acres in heavy brush with steep and "very difficult" terrain to navigate, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

By 2 p.m., the fire was 60 percent contained. 

The zoo staff evacuated their bird show animals as well as some of the smaller primate species. They turned on the sprinkler systems and began hosing the hillside by hand. On-site staff was monitoring the smoke conditions for the remaining animals. 

Smoke could be seen in the Burbank area. Freeway off ramps at Riverside, Crystal Springs and Zoo Drive are closed as firefighters battle the brush fire. Those road closures and off ramps were reopened when the fire reached containment. 

No structures had burned, but one firefighter suffered a minor lower leg injury, fire officials said. 

Crews were expected to work throughout the night to address all hot spots. 

The fire was the latest to break out in Southern California, where fires have burned homes in Ventura County, forced evacuations and closed major roads.

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