L.A. Zoo Closes Amid Griffith Park Fire

Los Angeles Zoo-ENtrance-Getty-H 2018
Michael Kovac/WireImage

The zoo said it plans to reopen on Saturday.

The Los Angeles Zoo is currently closed amid a fire in nearby Griffith Park on Friday morning, the L.A. Fire Department has confirmed.

Zoo staff tweeted at 8:40 a.m. local time that they were "preparing some animals for evacuation and hosing down the most vulnerable hillside areas," and that they would be following the recommendations of the fire department. 

In a later set of tweets they said that animals and employees were safe and that "bird show animals & some smaller primates" had been evacuated, and that they would provide updates "when possible."

The LAFD says that the brush fire has grown to 30 acres, in heavy brush that is difficult to navigate. However, as of 2 p.m., LAFD says the fire is 60 percent contained and "crews will continue to work through the night addressing all hot spots in the difficult terrain." They say that there are no evacuations underway at this time. 

The alert adds, "No structures burned. Over 127 LAFD firefighters assigned with additional air and ground support (hand crews) from LACoFD."

According to the LAFD, one firefighter has been taken to the hospital with a "non-life threatening lower extremity injury."

On Friday evening, the zoo took to its social channels to confirm that the fire never crossed the zoo's grounds and all animals are safely back on the premises. The statement also expressed "deepest gratitude" to members of the community who offered help, first responders and the LAFD. The zoo said it plans to reopen on Saturday.

"In light of the wildfires throughout California, we are mindful that our daily work to save species from extinction is an effort to fight against the threats that too many species face," the statement continued. "Habitat destruction, climate change, and more, threaten the wild populations of many of the animals in our care. We will continue to work to conserve these species and educate the public about these precious animals and the environment."

The fire in Griffith Park comes the same day that mandatory evacuations were ordered for a fire in Malibu, a beachside community which many Hollywood celebrities call home. 

Nov. 9, 5:03 p.m. Updated with zoo's statement.

Nov. 9, 2:50 p.m. Updated with overnight info and new containment report.