LA’s iconic Griffith Observatory evacuated amid wildfires

Thousands of people are evacuated from LA’s iconic Griffith Observatory, and wedding ceremony is cut short as wildfires rip through California and the West Coast amid the scorching summer heat

  • More than 2,000 people were evacuated from LA’s famous Griffith Observatory and its park on Tuesday
  • Firefighters and water-dropping helicopters battled through the afternoon after the blaze destroyed two dozen acres of dry brush around Griffith Park
  • Blaze damaged several cars but officials say no one was hurt and crews were able to stop the flames before they damaged the iconic observatory building
  • Scorching heat, high winds and low humidity fanned dozens of fires this summer in a particularly intense fire season across the West
  •  One person has been killed and three firefighters injured in a wildfire that erupted on the California-Oregon border on Thursday, which also torched 36,500 acres and destroyed 82 homes
  • Elsewhere in the U.S. Southwest, dozens of active fires remained burning, including the 107,900-acre Spring Creek Fire, which is on pace to become the second-largest fire in Colorado’s history 
  • A couple in California said their vows as the landscape burned behind them – and they and theirs guests fled moments after saying ‘I do’ 

More than two thousand people were evacuated from LA’s famous Griffith Observatory and its surrounding park on Tuesday as wildfires continue to rage through California and along the West Coast.

Firefighters and water-dropping helicopters battled through the afternoon after the blaze destroyed two dozen acres of dry brush around Griffith Park, near the Hollywood Hills, sending a giant plume of smoke billowing into the sky.

The blaze damaged several cars but officials say no one was hurt and crews were able to stop the flames before they damaged the iconic observatory building which has attracted more than 80 million visitors since it opened its doors in 1935. 

More than two thousand people were evacuated from LA’s famous Griffith Observatory and its surrounding park on Tuesday as wildfires continue to rage through California and along the West Coast

Water dropping helicopters fly over the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles as a wildfire burns along the hillsides sending up huge plumes of smoke visible throughout the city 

A wildfire burns on the hills surrounding the famous Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles Tuesday, July 10

The blaze damaged several cars but officials say no one was hurt and crews were able to stop the flames before they damaged the iconic observatory building

Scorching heat, high winds and low humidity fanned dozens of fires this summer in a particularly intense fire season across the West. This year has already seen more than 3.3 million acres wiped out by this year, compared to an annual average of about 2.6 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

One person has been killed and three firefighters injured in a wildfire that erupted on the California-Oregon border on Thursday, which also torched 36,500 acres and destroyed 82 homes. Shifting wind patterns remained a concern, but that fire was not expected to grow significantly overnight, a spokesman for Cal Fire said.

But that didn’t stop one couple from saying their marriage vows, as the landscape went up in flames around them.  

Ellie and Taylor Denney were in Hornbrook to tie the knot Saturday and were getting increasingly nervous – they’d  seen the Klamathon Fire on the horizon burning for two days.

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    Scorching heat, high winds and low humidity fanned dozens of fires this summer in a particularly intense fire season across the West

    And for good reason, in the middle of their vows, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the areas as the flames began coming down the hill towards the wedding party.

    ‘We took a 30-minute ceremony and made it 5 minutes,’ Taylor Denney said.

    ‘We literally said, ‘I do. Kiss the bride,’ and ran,’ Ellie Denney told Fox. 

    In western Nevada, a fire weather watch will be in effect on Wednesday as winds up to 50 miles per hour and thunderstorms with lightning are expected in the area.

    NASA said smoke from the massive wildfire in northern Nevada was so thick it is visible from space.

    One person has been killed and three firefighters injured in a wildfire that erupted on the California-Oregon border on Thursday, which also torched 36,500 acres and destroyed 82 homes

    A pair of chimneys stand in the remains of homes burned in the Klamathon Fire Monday, July 9, 2018, in Hornbrook, Calif. Crews have gained some ground against a deadly wildfire burning on the California-Oregon state line that killed a man and injured three firefighters 

    Burned ground from a wildfire surrounds emergency vehicles parked at a gas station Monday, July 9, 2018, in Hornbrook, California 

    Officials for the federal space agency said Tuesday a NASA satellite captured infrared imaging of the fire that has burned nearly 700 square miles of remote rangeland – an area almost half the size of the state of Rhode Island.

    More than 600 firefighters are now battling the blaze, dubbed the Martin Fire, which now is estimated to be 35 percent contained.

    The National Interagency Fire Center says it’s the largest wild land fire currently burning in the United States. But it’s not currently threatening any populated areas and no structure damage or injuries have been reported. It first was reported on July 5 near the small rural town of Paradise Valley 200 miles northwest of Reno.

    Authorities investigating the cause of the fire are asking for the public’s help with any information about anyone who may have been camping in the area on the Fourth of July

    The wildfire didn’t stop one couple from saying their marriage vows, as the landscape went up in flames around them (pictured, Ellie and Taylor Denney take their first kiss as a married couple, as smoke rises from the wildfire in the background)

    Ellie and Taylor Denney were in Hornbrook to tie the knot Saturday and were getting increasingly nervous – they’d seen the Klamathon Fire on the horizon burning for two days 

    In the middle of their vows, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the areas as the flames began coming down the hill towards the wedding party – sending guests running

    Elsewhere in the U.S. Southwest, dozens of active fires remained burning, including the 107,900-acre Spring Creek Fire, which is on pace to become the second-largest fire in Colorado’s history, according to the Denver Post newspaper.

    ‘Near critical fire weather conditions are possible across portions of eastern Colorado Tuesday afternoon,’ the National Weather Service said in an advisory.

    Showers and thunderstorms are also in the forecast for parts of the region through Wednesday, the weather service said, warning of lightning and gusty winds that could create and fan wildfires.

    Back in California, there was a glimmer of happiness in the devastation left behind by the fire. 

    Ishu and Laura Rao, who got married only eight months ago, returned to the rubble of their home in Goleta in Santa Barbara County, on Sunday to look for the engagement and wedding rings. 

    The house was incinerated in a fast-moving wildfire that destroyed nine other homes on on Friday. The blaze was 80 percent contained on Sunday.

     Ishu Rao found the charred rings amid the ashes after figuring out where the kitchen sink was by looking for pipes.  His wife, who takes her rings off at night, was getting ready for bed when the fire broke out, giving the couple just minutes to make it out alive with Ishu’s 12- and 14-year-old daughters, three dogs and a cat.

    When he found the rings, Ishu said he decided to get down on one knee and ask his bride to marry him, again.

    ‘She’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known, she’s the glue in our family, and I adore her to pieces, so if I can put a smile on her face I’m going to do it,’ the 48-year-old said.

    Mike Eliason, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, witnessed the tearful proposal, snapped a photo and shared it on Twitter.

    She said ‘Yes.’

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