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Fire threatens ‘i’iwi bird habitat in park

  • Fire burns native forest in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as firefighters engage in suppression efforts. NPS Photo/Mark Wasser

The Keauhou fire was threatening habitat for the endangered ‘i‘iwi bird as it continued to burn Friday within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The fire was most active on its northern front. Some of the fire’s interior had been suppressed, and firefighters continued to hold back flames near the Kipuka Ki Special Ecological Area and along Mauna Loa Road.

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According to the park, more than 2 inches of rain fell in the area Thursday and overnight.

On Thursday, the fire was 3,679 acres and 51 percent contained. An updated estimate wasn’t immediately available Friday.

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Most of the fire is within the park on the slope of Mauna Loa. Smoke remains visible from Highway 11, and motorists are urged to use caution.

The fire began Aug. 5 outside the park in Keauhou. It’s cause remains under investigation.