Parts of Griffith Park reopen

May 12, 2007 at 8:02 PM
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LOS ANGELES, May 12 (UPI) -- Parts of Los Angeles' popular Griffith Park were reopened to the public Saturday, five days after being closed because of a brushfire.

Most of the park's grassy areas were left untouched by the fire that broke out Tuesday and burned more than 800 acres, KNBC-TV Los Angeles reported.

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge's office said the park would be able to accommodate thousands of visitors this weekend.

The Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Observatory and the Gene Autry Museum of the

American West were reopened Saturday, but roadways inside the park remained closed.

The decision to reopen the attractions followed a spirited debate among city officials Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported. LaBonge and recreation and parks chief Jon Mukri announced different scenarios within five minutes of each other, the newspaper said.

LaBonge said at a news conference with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that the zoo and the park's iconic merry-go-round would be open to the public Saturday. But Mukri later said the merry-go-round would definitely not be open, and the zoo was unlikely.

Mukri also said it was not likely some of the park's hiking trails would be open in time for the weekend.

"Jon, they're going to come anyway," said LaBonge.

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