Griffith Observatory

Brush Fire Burns on Hillside Below Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory

Firefighters protected nearby homes and the famous Griffith Park landmark from flames.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Firefighters battled a brush fire Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles' Griffith Park that burned on a hillside below the Griffith Observatory.

About 6 acres burned, but firefighters protected the Observatory and nearby homes.

It wasn't clear what started the blaze, but it had grown to 4 acres by 3:30 p.m. May 17, 2022.

A realtor at a property in the area said she called 911 to report smoke was rising from a hillside to the south of Griffith Observatory at the heart of the 4,300-acre park. The fire was reported at about 2:30 p.m. in the 2600 block of North Nottingham Drive.

Summer Parker told NBCLA that painters at the property notified her that a man appeared to have set a fire on the nearby hillside. Details about the cause of the fire have not been confirmed by fire officials.

LAPD said a man was detained near the site of the fire.

A small fire that broke out on a hillside below the famous landmark and grew to about 4 acres.

The historic Observatory, formally opened in May 1935 and one of LA's most beloved landmarks, was closed Tuesday and park rangers were keeping hikers from entering trails.

Water-dropping aircraft made several runs on the flames. Light winds were reported in the area.

There are homes below the fire, but no evacuations were ordered.

In May 2007, a fire at park burned more than 800 acres and threatened some of its most famous landmarks.

Griffith Park was the site of one of the deadliest wildfires in California history. On Oct. 3, 1933, Depression-era workers were taking care of other projects in the park when they were dispatched to fight what started as a rubbish fire. Not trained in firefighting, they were unable to contain the flames and the fire spread to nearly 50 acres.

Fanned by shifting winds, the fire raced up a canyon and overwhelmed workers. Twenty-nine were killed.

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