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UPDATE: Another Fire — No. 7 — Along Route 190 Today

December 5, 2013, 7:00 PM HST
* Updated December 6, 10:33 AM
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***Updated 10:17 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6.***

State and county firefighters were called out again this morning to extinguish yet another brush fire discovered along Route 190.

Fire Battalion Chief Steve Loyola said the fire apparently began around 6:30 a.m. on the makai side of the highway near the 16-mile marker.

Two of the previous fires last week were in the same area but on the mauka side.

Since the fire was burning on state land — which has been the case with virtually all of the previous six fires over a 10-day period — crews from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife were in charge of fighting the blaze.

Loyola said the latest fire blackened about five acres before being contained.

Police are investigating the fires as possible arson cases.

Loyola said at this point, it seems clear that the fires are being deliberately set.

Posted 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5:

Police are again asking for the public’s help in its investigation of suspicious brush fires that keep occurring along a mauka Kona highway.

A half-dozen fires have now occurred along a 10-mile stretch of Route 190 over the past 10 days.

The first, which broke out on Monday, Nov. 25, near the highway’s intersection with the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, formerly known as Saddle Road, blackened nearly 600 acres before being brought under control more than 30 hours later.

While firefighters were wrapping up the first fire, two more broke out, first at the 16-mile marker and then later near the 23-mile marker. The first consumed approximately 150 acres while the second was extinguished after it burned about a quarter-acre.

Those fires forced the closing several times of Route 190, the roadway also known as Mamalahoa Highway which connects Waimea and Kona.

Additional fires were discovered along the highway on Thursday, Nov. 28, and on Monday, Dec.2, at the 16-mile and 24-mile markers, respectively.

And yet another one broke out on Wednesday near the 17-mile marker.

All except the fire this past Monday occurred on the mauka side the roadway.

Police are asking the public to immediately report any suspicious activity in the area by calling 935-3311.

Anyone with information on the cause of the fires is encouraged to contact Det. Levon Stevens at 326-4646, ext. 275 or [email protected]

Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 329-8181.

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