California fires update: Brush fire causes evacuation at Griffith Observatory

Aerial view of Griffith Observatory. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

July 11 (UPI) — A small brush fire in California prompted an evacuation of the Griffith Observatory and its surrounding trails on Tuesday, fire officials said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department received reports of approximately two acres of grass and light vegetation burning northwest of the observatory at 2:09 p.m.

Later in the afternoon the department said the fire was no closer than a quarter-mile away from the Griffith Observatory, which was evacuated by police and park rangers due to drifting smoke and the need for responder’s heavy apparatus to operate safely.

Hikers, cyclists, equestrians and motorists were ordered to avoid the area surrounding the observatory.

Several vehicles were damaged by the blaze, but no structures were damaged or threatened. No injuries or missing people were reported as a result of the fire.

The blaze came as multiple wildfires burned throughout the state.

Klamathon Fire

The Klamathon Fire in Siskiyou County on the border between California and Oregon grew to 36,500 acres Tuesday and Cal Fire said it was 45 percent contained.

Since it began on Thursday, the blaze has killed one person, injured three more and destroyed 82 structures.

Evacuations issued earlier in the week for the communities of Hornbrook and the Copco Lake area were in place Tuesday.

County Fire

The 90,288-acre County fire in Napa and Yolo counties reached 80 percent containment as 2,329 total fire personnel worked to battle the blaze.

As of Tuesday the fire destroyed 20 structures, but no deaths or injuries were reported.

All evacuations were lifted as the fire neared full containment.

Georges Fire

The Georges Fire in Inyo County grew to 2,500 acres and the number of fire personnel combating the blaze increased to 611. Cal Fire said it was 10 percent contained Tuesday.

The Whitney Portal area was evacuated, including campgrounds, residences and the Whitney Portal Store.

The Inyo National Forest worked with hikers and campers who held reservations at Whitney Portal and planned to re-evaluate access to the areas daily.

The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads also remained closed.

Los Angeles area

The Creek Fire in San Bernardino National Forest near Los Angeles remained at 33 acres and was 100 percent contained as of Tuesday.

Officials said heavy machinery to repair Forest Service road 1N09 will be present throughout the weekend.

The Valley Fire remained at 1,348 acres and was 13 percent containment while the 100-acre Box Fire was 90 percent contained. Both blazes took place in San Bernardino County.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced Tuesday it had restored all outages that resulted from a heat wave in the area, restoring power to more than 106,236 people since last Friday.


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