Fire burns at least 5 acres in Griffith Park

LOS ANGELES — Firefighters have contained a fire that consumed about 5 acres of dry brush in Los Angeles' sprawling Griffith Park.

Fire Department spokesman Devin Gales said the fire broke out around 5 p.m. Monday on the park's northeastern edge.

The flames burned close to a water tank, but were held back by 75 firefighters who were aided by water-dropping helicopters.

Firefighters were called to the northeast corner of Griffith Park near the Golden State (5) and Ventura (134) freeways at 4:57 p.m. and had a "good handle'' on the blaze an hour later, Gales said.

Gales said five helicopters dropped water on the flames and several crews were stationed on the ground to make sure the fire did not get out of control. It was not threatening the zoo as of 5:45 p.m., he said.

Mild temperatures and winds no stronger than 8 mph helped firefighters get the upper hand, he said, adding the flames would have had to leap across one major road to threaten the zoo.

Traffic was being rerouted from Zoo Drive to free up the road for firefighting equipment and personnel. Freeway delays were expected near the area as the Interstate 5 Zoo Drive off ramp wa shut down, along with the eastbound 134 Freeway's Victory Boulevard off ramp, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The 4,200-acre wilderness park is in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, surrounded by neighborhoods of Los Angeles and suburban Burbank and Glendale.

In May 2007, a fierce wildfire roared through more than 800 acres of parkland and forced evacuations in nearby neighborhoods.

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