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North Kohala Brush Fire Scorches 50 Acres, Arson Suspected

September 2, 2020, 10:41 AM HST
* Updated September 2, 11:12 AM
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Flames from a vehicle fire in North Kohala ignite nearby brush setting 50 acres ablaze early this morning. Submitted photo

Over 50 acres of vacant state land were scorched after a vehicle was reportedly set on fire off Akoni Pule Highway (Route 270), authorities confirmed Wednesday morning.

Hawai‘i Police Department’s North Kohala patrol responded to the brush fire in the area of Route 270 by mile marker 12 at approximately 2:26 a.m.

“Upon police arrival, a vehicle was observed completely engulfed in flames and spreading to the surrounding area,” police stated.

During the course of their investigation, HPD determined the abandoned vehicle, which was parked on the makai shoulder of the highway, was ignited intentionally.

Due to the wind, dry location, and close proximity of the vehicle, more than 50 acres of vacant land were set ablaze. Hawai‘i Fire crews were able to extinguish and contain the majority of the fire, however, due to the size of the fire they remained on scene to extinguish any flare-ups.

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HPD first alerted the public at 3:27 a.m. that both lanes of Route 270 near mile marker 12 were closed due to the brush fire and that crews were on scene working to stamp out the flames.

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The road reopened at 6:02 a.m.

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