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Small Brush Fire Burns 2 Acres of HVNP Land

July 31, 2020, 12:56 PM HST
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Crews respond to brush fire on Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park land. (PC: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park)

Approximately two acres of land were consumed in a small brush fire on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park land Thursday afternoon.

The blaze was first reported to Hawaii Fire Department at 4:51 p.m. The flames were ignited in dry ‘ōhi‘a woodland off Highway 11 near mile marker 31 between Nāmakanipaio Campground and Mauna Loa Road.

Hawai‘i County’s Volcano fire crew arrived on scene almost immediately and got the fire under control by 5:30 p.m. A Hawai‘i County helicopter dropped several loads of water on the flames, and firefighting units from Pāhala, Kea‘au, the National Park Service, and volunteers from Volcano and Hawaiian Paradise Park assisted with containment, extinguishment and mop-up.

Moderately strong tradewinds and dry conditions alongside the highway contributed to the spread of the brushfire, which was also fueled by dry native lichen growing on the top layer of volcanic ash that is prevalent in the area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no injuries, and there are no structures in the area.

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Many areas in the park are under severe fire danger due to low rainfall amounts. Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu to Mauna Loa Lookout is currently closed to vehicles due to high fire danger.

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