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UPDATE: West Hawai’i Brush Fire Burns 1,300 Acres

March 23, 2016, 12:50 PM HST (Updated March 23, 2016, 10:47 PM)
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    ***Updated at 10:30 p.m. with additional information from the Hawai’i County Fire Department.***

    A fire off Highway 190 in West Hawai’i continues to burn Wednesday night.

    The Hawai’i County Fire Department says that as of 6:30 p.m., the brush fire about one mile off Highway 190 had burned about 1,300 acres.

    As of 10 p.m., the fire had not been contained as fire crews continue to keep the fire from jumping Highway 190.

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    HFD firefighters, along with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Department of Forest and Wildlife, have continued to battle against the blaze.

    Three on-site bulldozers will continue to create fire breaks throughout the night, according to HFD.

    A total of 22 firefighters are on scene, along with eight volunteer fire fighters.

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    HFD says the cause of the fire was a lightning strike before noon Wednesday.

    Highway 190 remains closed from Makalei Street, just north of Kaiminani Drive, to the Daniel K. Inouye Highway. A detour using Waikoloa Road and Queen Kaahumanu Highway is in place.

    ***Updated at 4:55 p.m. with additional information from the Hawai’i County Fire Department.***

    The Hawai’i County Fire Department has contained a brush fire burning in West Hawai’i to the ocean side of Highway 190.

    According to HFD Assistant Fire Chief Gantry Andrade, the fire reached the highway but did not cross the road. Crews from HFD and the Department of Land and Natural Resources were able to contain the fire and keep it from getting any closer.

    As of 4:30 p.m., a total of 830 acres have burned in the fire. Andrade said that the preliminary cause of the fire is “possible natural causes,” potentially sparked by a lightning strike.

    DLNR crews are taking over the lead command in combating the fire, as it is located on state land. Air operations continued late into the afternoon, and as the fire reached closer to land, ground crews were able to start working against the blaze.

    Three road blocks remain in place along Highway 190. The road blocks are situated at the Kaiminani Drive junction, Waikoloa Road junction, and the Daniel K. Inouye Highway junction. Andrade said that the closures are expected to last throughout the night.

    ***Updated at 1:30 p.m. with additional information from the Hawai’i County Fire Department.***

    Approximately 100 acres have already burned in runaway brush fire located below Highway 190 in Kailua-Kona.

    Hawai’i County Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Gantry Andrade told Big Island Now that the fire was called in at around 11:44 a.m. It started below the highway and kept moving toward the ocean.

    Andrade said that once the winds changed direction, the fire changed course as well, burning toward the highway. As of 1:20 p.m., the fire was a half-mile away from the road.

    HFD and Department of Land and Natural Resources crews are on scene battling the fire. The primary method of attacking the blaze is utilizing air attacks, Andrade explained, while bulldozers will take a ground approach to fighting the fire once they arrive on scene.

    Stay with Big Island Now as the story develops.

    ***Original story posted at 12:50 p.m.***

    A runaway brush fire burning along Highway 190 has caused the closure of the highway from Kaiminani Drive to the Daniel K. Inouye Highway in West Hawai’i.

    The Hawai’i Police Department reports that Hawai’i County Fire Department crews are battling a blaze between the 24 and 25 mile markers.

    All fire activity is burning on the west side of the highway in the Pu’uanahulu area.

    Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira says the fire is not threatening any homes or properties however but the roadway was closed as result of heavy smoke and conditions.

    Hawai’i County Fire Department firefighters are working to extinguish the fire.

    Motorists are being rerouted through a detour set up using Waikoloa Road and Kaiminani Drive.

    Those on the roadway should avoid the area and use alternate routes.

    Stay with Big Island Now as the story develops.

    Photo credit: Rachel Riley

    Photo credit: Rachel Riley

    Photo credit: Rachel Riley

    Photo credit: Rachel Riley

    Photo credit: Rachel Riley

    Photo credit: Rachel Riley

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