Griffith Observatory Fire
Smoke billows up the hillside near Griffith Park Observatory Tuesday. Photo via AlertWildFire.org camera screenshot

A brush fire scorched about six acres and forced an evacuation of the famed Griffith Park Observatory Tuesday, and a person of interest was detained.

The blaze was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m. along North Nottingham Avenue on a hill just south of the observatory in Griffith Park. Originally reported as a roughly 100-by-50-foot spot fire, the blaze quickly grew to about four acres, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Smoke billowed up the hill, some of it wafting across the observatory’s famed domes, although the flames did not appear to be immediately threatening the landmark.

Because of the fire’s proximity to the observatory and the thickness of the brush, the fire department classified the blaze a “major emergency”

In addition to evacuating the observatory, park rangers were also clearing hiking trails in Griffith Park.

The observatory was closed to the public on Tuesday, per its usual schedule, but all staff were cleared from the building.

The LAFD announced about 3:55 p.m. that crews managed to contain the blaze at about six acres. No injuries were reported during the blaze.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, but the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed officers detained a person of interest in connection with the fire. However, no further details were immediately available.

Updated at 4:55 p.m. May 17, 2022

City News Service contributed to this article.