Firefighters kept busy

The Hawaii Fire Department was kept busy with a structure fire in North Kohala on Sunday and a brush fire in Ka‘u on Monday.

Seven units were dispatched to the house fire on Halaula Maulili Road in North Kohala at 2:32 p.m. Sunday. The first unit arrived eight minutes later to find black smoke coming from the rear of the single-family home. There were no occupants at home, but the fire quickly spread to the entire structure, and the houses on both sides of the burning home were evacuated for their safety.

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The house completely collapsed and the garage partly collapsed.

The fire was reportedly brought under control at 4:30 p.m. and extinguished at 9:30 p.m. Firefighters stayed during the night to put out hot spots.

Estimated loss from the fire was $400,000.

The occupants were eventually located and put in touch with the Red Cross.

Then on Monday, a brush fire was reported a half-mile northeast of remote Green Sand Beach in Ka‘u.

Fifteen units, including a county helicopter, responded to the 10 a.m. alarm. The remoteness of the fire and the rough terrain that had to be navigated meant it took 47 minutes for the first unit to arrive.

HFD units from Pahala, Naalehu, Ocean View, Keaau, Captain Cook, Hilo Central and Waiakea stations responded, as did volunteer units from Discovery Harbour, Ocean View and Kailua-Kona.

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The fire covered 5 acres of brush, with dry and gusty conditions fanning the flames.

Larger vehicles with the water supply staged on South Point Road while the fire was contained by 12:35 p.m. and extinguished at 3:15 p.m. by bucket drops from the helicopter supported by off-road ground units.

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