Brush fire consumes 45 acres near PTA

  • Photo courtesy of POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area burned at least 45 acres, according to the U.S. Army as of Tuesday evening.

KAILUA-KONA — A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area had burned at least 45 acres, the U.S. Army said Tuesday evening.

The fire, which started at about 10 a.m. Tuesday in an area inaccessible to vehicles, is under investigation, said PTA spokesman Mike Donnelly. No training was taking place in the area where the blaze ignited in the northeastern corner of the training area, on the northern, or Maunakea, side of Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road, near mile marker 31.

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PTA and Hawaii County firefighters spent the day battling the blaze, relying heavily on helicopters to perform water drops. As of press time, the fire was burning state land and flames were about a mile from the highway.

Donnelly said via email that it was unclear how long it would take to extinguish the blaze, but firefighters were “treating it with 24/7 operations.”

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Training is ongoing, he said, adding PTA is working closely with units from Marine Corps Base Kaneohe to ensure their training continues, and even possibly using some of their assets, such as fuel trucks and unmanned aerial systems, or drones, Donnelly said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said no road closures were ordered; however, officials cautioned the highway could be closed without warning.

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