Keauhou Fire Remains 90% Contained
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reports that the Keauhou Fire received additional rainfall on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. On Wednesday, a 1/2 inch of rain fell aiding firefighters in their work. Containment remains at 90% and holding at 3,739 acres on the slopes of Mauna Loa, mostly within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
With the cooler and wetter weather, firefighters are focusing on mop-up and patrol of firelines. They are also starting the process of back-haul, returning equipment and supplies used on the fire, by strategically bringing those resources back to be cleaned and refurbished.
Firefighters continue to protect the Kīpukakī and Kīpukapuaulu Special Ecological Areas, cultural heritage areas and rare forest habitat for endangered species.
Additionally, fire crews are working with park biologists along the park boundary to assess fences and to carefully fall a limited number of trees that became hazards from the fire. Together they are also analyzing any potential impacts from the fire suppression efforts such as bulldozer lines that were created to stop the spread of the fire.
The Keauhou Fire may be visible from Highway 11, especially for Hilo (east) bound traffic, but is not impacting the road or travel. Smoke may be visible for some time as interior pockets of fuel continue to burn themselves out.
Mauna Loa Road and most of the park have been closed since May 11 due to hazardous seismic activity. This road will remain closed for and during restoration efforts once the Keauhou Fire is declared out.