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770-Acre Keamuku Fire 80% Contained

February 2, 2017, 2:58 PM HST
* Updated February 2, 3:12 PM
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The Pōhakuloa Training Area’s Fire and Emergency Services mobilized to fight a wildland fire in the Keamuku Maneuver Area, which was reported at 6 a.m., Feb. 1, 2017. The fire was 80% extinguished by noon the next day. Marla Walters photo.

The Pōhakuloa Training Area’s Fire and Emergency Services have nearly contained a wildland fire in the Keamuku Maneuver Area that had spread to more than 770 acres.

Despite firefighting efforts that continued through midnight last night and resumed at daybreak, shifting winds and dry conditions caused the fire to spread rapidly.

As of noon today, Pōhakuloa Training Area’s Fire Chief Eric Moller said the fire is currently more than 80% contained and under control.

Hawai‘i County’s Fire Department and other local resources assisted with fighting the fire, which was originally reported at 6 a.m. Feb. 1, 2017.

“There is currently no active burning,” said Fire Chief Moller.

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A “dozer line” (a fire break the width of a bulldozer blade) has been carved out around the 5.5-mile perimeter of the fire, containing it; a second dozer line is now underway, Fire ChiefMoller said.

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Once that has been completed, the fire will be 100% contained.

While there is little risk of the fire escaping or flaring up, Moller said crews will monitor the area for the next three weeks; some smoke may persist during this time.

Firefighters believe the brushfire flared up from an earlier fire on Jan. 26, which had been extinguished with more than 6,000 gallons of water. Despite firefighting efforts, sub-surface smoldering can continue without causing any smoke, and later can flare up due to dry, windy conditions. The initial cause of the Jan. 26 fire is still under investigation.

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No injuries have been reported and no buildings or structures have been damaged from the fire.

While no road closure is anticipated, as visibility remains good to a half-mile, motorists are advised to be alert and drive with caution.

The Keamuku Maneuver Area is the northernmost part of the Pōhakuloa Training Area, and was purchased by the U.S. Army from Parker Ranch in October 2006.

RELATED LINK
Firefighters Working to Contain Keamuku Maneuver Area Brushfire

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