East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Two New Brush Fires Close Highway 190 Again

November 25, 2013, 5:56 PM HST
* Updated November 26, 5:30 PM
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***Updated at 5:03 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25.***

Just four hours after traffic was again allowed on Highway 190, the roadway was closed again because of two new brush fires.

The latest closure was prompted by brush fires at the 16- and 23-mile markers, said Battalion Chief Gerald Kosaki of the Hawaii Fire Department.

The closure was ordered at about 4 p.m. because of smoke obscuring the roadway, Kosaki said.

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The fire at the 23-mile marker was less than an acre in size. Kosaki said crews were just arriving at the other fire and its size was not yet known.

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Highway 190 was reopened today at noon after firefighters were able to control a blaze that blackened 500 acres near the highway’s 14-mile marker. It had been closed by the fire on Monday afternoon.

Kosaki said the cause of all three fires is under investigation, although it was believed the two new fires were not directly related to the one that broke out Monday.

Police ask that anyone who observed suspicious or unusual activity in the area this afternoon to call the police department at 935-3311.

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The latest closure meant that the detours at Kaiminani Drive to the south and Waikoloa Road and the old Saddle Road junction to the north were again in effect.

Posted at 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26:

Big Island police said Highway 190 reopened at noon today.

Motorists were being asked to use caution as firefighting crews were still at work around the 14-mile marker, in the vicinity of the highway’s new intersection with Saddle Road.

Posted at 11:10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26:

Firefighters continued to battle a brush fire along Highway 190 this morning, and were hoping to reopen the roadway by noon, Assistant Fire Chief Glen Honda said.

The blaze that started on the mauka side of the highway near its intersection with Saddle Road resulted in the closing of a 20-mile stretch to through traffic since Monday afternoon.

Bulldozers were continuing to establish firebreaks on the south and mauka sides of the fire, which was contained by Saddle Road and Highway 190 on the north and makai sides, respectively, Honda said.

He said at last estimate, the brush fire had blackened 452 acres.

The cause of the brush fire is unknown.

Posted at 5:56 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25:

A brush fire prompted the closing late this afternoon of a 20-mile stretch of Highway 190, the upper highway connecting Waimea and Kona.

The fire was burning on the mauka side of the highway near the 14-mile marker, just south of the new intersection with Saddle Road, civil defense officials said.

Northbound traffic was being directed down Kaiminani Drive, while southbound motorists were being routed either up the old stretch of Saddle Road near the 6-mile marker or down Waikoloa Road, depending on their destination.

No structures were threatened by the blaze that had blackened a reported 40 acres as of about 5 p.m.

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