Saturday, Oct. 01, 2022|
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KAILUA-KONA — No injuries were reported in connection with a brush fire that started Thursday and had burned more than 800 acres in Ka‘u by Friday afternoon, according to county fire officials.
The cause of the fire is undetermined.
At about 5:15 a.m., several Hawaii Fire Department units were dispatched to the blaze, which was burning in a remote area of the Ka‘u coastline near Waikapuna Bay. Units arrived on the scene just after 7 a.m. The area was described as “open pasture land along (the) coastline below Naalehu town.”
Responding units included engines, a tanker truck, medics and two helicopters.
The Fire Department said when responders arrived, there were approximately 5 acres of grass and brush actively burning, but much of the area was inaccessible to ground vehicles.
With limited access to the area and strong trade winds, the fire continued spreading throughout the day. Responders used bulldozers to create firebreaks and helicopters dropped water from above.
The fire’s spread slowed during the nighttime hours, the department said.
Much of the area was still actively burning at the time the Fire Department issued details about the blaze Friday morning.
Alan Gervasi, who lives in the Mark Twain Estates subdivision in Naalehu, said he first saw the fire about 5 a.m. Thursday, estimating the smoke plume to be about 3 miles away, when he got up to let his dog out.
By 10 a.m., he said, the fire looked as if it had gotten bigger, and that afternoon he saw helicopters making their rounds, dropping water on the blaze below.
The Fire Department put the total acreage burned at 840 acres. About 4:30 p.m. Friday, Gervasi said, there were still active flames in the area of the fire.
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