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Hawai‘i Island Firefighters Contain 1,600-Acre Ka‘ū Blaze

September 24, 2017, 9:10 AM HST (Updated September 24, 2017, 9:10 AM)
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Hawai‘i Island firefighters finally contained a large brush fire on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, that started on Thursday along the coastline between Waikapuna Bay and Na‘alehu town in the Ka‘ū District.

On Saturday, day three of the fire, the Hawai‘i Fire Department reported that the blaze had grown substantially from prior operational period to around 1,400 acres by mid-morning.

The fire continued to burn through uneven terrain with variable fuel-vegetation mixtures.

The rugged terrain in the area enables only limited 4-by-4 vehicle access and air access.

The area is primarily cattle pasture, with some native trees and archeology.

Firefighters said the fire was long, reaching from Waikapuna Bay to within .75 miles of Green Sands Subdivision.

There were more than a dozen spot fires outside of the main burn area. Spot fires ranged from 100 square feet to several acres.

Air support from two helicopters used water drops to assist ground units who were extinguishing fires that had jumped fire breaks.

By nightfall on Saturday, the fire was contained, with no further fires outside of four-wheel-drive roads widened by bulldozers, creating a perimeter for the approximately 1,600-acre fire.

HFD remained on scene overnight and operations resumed this morning with choppers and ground fire fighting.

No structures have burned or are in immediate danger.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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