UPDATE: Kawaihae Brush Fire Continues to Burn Out of Control
***Updated at 4:33 p.m. to include information from Hawai’i County Civil Defense.***
Residents of the Kawaihae area who were forced to evacuate as a result of the brush fire that began Saturday afternoon are allowed to return home, according to Hawai’i County Civil Defense.
A Civil Defense official said that approximately 4,600 acres have burned as result of the fire. The fire continues to burn out of control, but all roads have reopened due to improved conditions in the immediate areas.
Officials say that as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the Waimea Community Center evacuation center will be closed.
***Updated at 11:10 a.m. to include information from Hawai’i County Civil Defense, and photos.****
Hawai’i County Civil Defense has removed the road closure on Queen Kaahumanu Highway by the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel entance from it’s road closure list.
***Original story posted at 9:51 a.m.***
A brush fire that began around noon Saturday contiues to burn out of control in the Kawaihae Area, and has engulfed 2,000 acres.
Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira told Big Island Now Sunday morning that the fire is beind treated at three separate points due to speading and terrain. A total of 80 people, including fire fighters and crews from various other agencies, have worked to control the fire, which has not been contained at all.
Oliveira said that the fire is burning out of control because of unusual and gusty winds, as well as limited access.
The exact number of individuals evacuated was not readily available, but residents of the Mauna Kea Fairways and Bluff subdivision were allowed to return to their homes Saturday night.
Oliveira says that the Kawaihae Village area could be in danger. Residents were evacuated Saturday evening from the area. The Kawaihae side of the fire is currently burning eucalyptus logs that were being stored prior to shipping.
The Thelma Parker Gym evacuation center has been moved to the Waimea Community Center and will remain open until further notice.
Roadway closures are in still effect. Queen Kaahumanu Highway is currently closed to all traffic beginning at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel entrance, Kawaihae Road is closed between the 62 mile marker on the Waimea side and the Akoni Pule Junction at Kawaihae Harbor. Kohala traffic on Akoni Pule is being detoured through the Kohala Ranch Subdivision.
Stay with Big Island Now as we continue to monitor the fire and update and changes or additional information. E-mail photos to [email protected].