UPDATE: Over 1,000 Acres Burned in Thursday’s Brush Fires
***Updated at 1:20 p.m. with road closure information.***
Hawai’i County Civil Defense reports that all roads along Highway 190 and Daniel K. Inouye Highway are now open.
***Updated at 9:45 a.m. with additional information from the Hawai’i County Fire Department.***
Two fires are still burning along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway and Highway 190.
According to Joseph Farias, West Hawai’i Batallion Chief, there was increased fire acitivity at the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, located between the 48-50 mile markers, as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday. A total of 320 acres had burned.
Additionally, 771 acres have burned in one of two fires located along Highway 190, near the fifteen mile marker. Another fire, which started near the 17 mile marker, burned a little over 20 acres before being extinguished.
Farias also told Big Island Now that previous to the three larger fires, a small fire was started between the 15-17 mile markers, but the “30-by-30 foot” fire was immediately put out by a passing HFD vehicle that was en route to Kona for repairs.
Because of the proximity of the fires, Farias said that it is “suspicious in origin at this time.” A representative with the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement is on scene working with HFD fire inspectors and law enforcement to investigate the blazes.
The Department of Forestry and Wildlife is taking the lead role in fighting the fire along Highway 190, while Pohakuloa Training Area fire units are coordinating the efforts to battle the blaze along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, which is on federal property.
***Originally posted at 6:45 a.m.***
The Hawai’i County Fire Department continues to battle three different brush fires near the Daniel K. Inouye Highway and Highway 190.
According to HFD, crews arrived on scene just after 4 p.m. Thursday and found multiple active brush fires. One was located between the 48-50 mile markers on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, and the other two were found between the 15-17 mile markers of Highway 190.
There were “light flashy fuels, moderate brush, and wooded trees” found to be involved in the fires, according to Friday morning’s update from HFD Battalion Chief Joseph Farias III.
Multiple agencies have joined HFD in battling the fire, including volunteer crews, personnel from Parker Ranch, and fire units from the Pohakuloa Training Area.
As of 6 a.m. Friday, Highway 190 remained closed from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway Junction to the 14 mile marker heading toward Waimea. Hawai’i County Civil Defense suggests using Waikoloa Road on the Waimea end and Kaiminani Drive on the Kona end as detours.
The Daniel K. Inouye Highway is also closed from the junction with Highway 190 to the Old Saddle Road junction near Pohakuloa.
Approximately 330 acres have burned so far due to the fires.
Big Island Now will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.