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DLNR Closes State Forest and Park Areas

July 22, 2016, 3:32 PM HST
* Updated July 22, 3:36 PM
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Akaka Falls State Park. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Akaka Falls State Park. Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has closed state forest and park areas on the islands of Hawai‘i and Maui in anticipation of the effects of Tropical Storm Darby this weekend.

DLNR is asking for the public’s cooperation with this announcement of area closures as the storm approaches.

Residents and visitors are advised to avoid forested and coastal areas due to potential for rising streams, flash flooding, falling trees or high surf as well as ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches and rocky coastal benches and lava flows.

High surf may create the potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways.

Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches.

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DLNR areas closing on Friday, July 22:

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As of 3 p.m. today, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife has closed all forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves, Na Ala Hele hiking trails, forest campgrounds and game management areas, including Keanakolu cabins, Ainapo hiking trail, Muliwai trail and Waimanu Valley campground until further notice.

Camping permits for this weekend are cancelled until further notice.

Saturday’s planned cattle hunt is cancelled.

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Division of State Parks is closing its park campgrounds, pavilions and cabins today.

All Hawai‘i Island parks will remain closed on Saturday and will not re-open until conditions warrant.

Persons holding camping and cabin permits for this weekend were notified by staff, and offered a refund or an alternate date.

An email blast to Kealakekua Bay kayak permit holders was issued to inform them of the approaching storm.

Those with reservations continuing on Monday, should check with the Hawai‘i parks office on Monday morning.

DLNR also urges people to follow instructions of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) and County Civil Defense agencies to prepare for arrival of tropical storm Darby, with forecasts of heavy rain, lightning strikes, flooding, strong winds, large surf and coastal surge in Hawai‘i as early as Friday.

A high surf advisory was in effect for Hawaii island from 6 p.m. Thursday evening to 6 a.m. Friday. A high surf warning will be in effect for east-facing shores of Hawaii island from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Sunday.

Visitors to Hawaii should heed all warnings from lifeguards and public health and safety officials.

Although weather conditions may appear favorable, rip tides and high surf often impact beaches far in advance of the actual storm.

Even the best swimmers can fall victim to strong storm-generated waves and currents. Swimmers are urged to stay clear of beaches and out of the water until local officials say the water is safe.

Near-shore waters may become contaminated due to runoff up to several days following a storm.

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