Brush Fire Scorches 20 Acres in Waimea District

December 18, 2019, 8:27 AM HST (Updated December 18, 2019, 8:27 AM)
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A brush fire in the Waimea District was quickly snuffed out with the combined efforts of county, military and volunteer crews Tuesday evening.

Hawai‘i County Fire first received a call at approximately 5:47 p.m. about a fire behind West Hawai‘i Concrete on Parker Ranch land, which is leased by Makani Solar. When they arrived on scene, crews found 20 acres burning. Winds from the northeast were coming at approximately 20 mph with higher gusts.

Representatives from the solar company indicated to fire officials the blaze was ignited by a mechanical failure of solar equipment.

The flames were initially running upslope toward Maunakea and Saddle Road, but the wind switched directions and all units were relocated to the east side of the blaze to keep it from jumping the roadway.

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Fire crews were assisted by several volunteer fire companies that quickly responded as well as Pōhakuloa Training Area Firefighters. A bulldozer was made available with the combined efforts of Parker Ranch, Bertelmann Construction and West Hawai‘i Concrete.

Thirty-five firefighters responded to the scene in total: 15 Hawai‘i County Firefighters, 16 volunteer firefighter and four firefighters from PTA.

The fire was put out within an hour. No injuries were reported.

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