Keauhou Fire 86% Contained
The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reported on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2018, that the Keauhou fire is now 86% contained and is still covers 3,739 acres on the northeastern slopes of Mauna Loa, mostly within the park. Cooler weather and afternoon cloud cover kept the fire low and helped firefighters.
Firefighters continued progress Tuesday on securing fire line on the northern edge of the fire. Crews also worked to secure the southern edge of the fire, south of the Kīpukakī Special Ecological Area, a cultural heritage area and rare forest habitat for endangered species.
Fire crews improved safety along the Mauna Loa Road by carefully falling a limited number of trees that became hazards from the fire. By proactively taking down these trees, the area becomes not only safer for firefighters, but also for the park’s resource advisors and scientists who are studying the fire area and the long-term effects.
The fire may be visible from Highway 11, especially for Hilo-bound (east-bound) traffic, but is not impacting the road or travel.
Southern California Incident Management Team Two has been in command of the fire since Aug. 10. Cooperating agencies include the National Park Service, Hawaiʻi County Fire Department, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, State Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and the Research Cooperation Unit of the University of Hawaiʻi.
The 2018 Wildfire LOOKOUT! campaign started across Hawaiʻi. Did you know 99% of wildfires in Hawai‘i are started by people? You can help protect the ‘āina and learn how to be fire safe by going online.
Firefighters and rangers are thankful for the continued support from the community. Mauna Loa Road and most of the park have been closed since May 11 due to hazardous seismic activity.