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Crews Contain Brush Fire by Whittington Beach Park

December 9, 2020, 7:54 AM HST
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Approximately 10 to 12 acres of land were scorched in a brush fire by Whittington Beach Park in Na‘alehu Tuesday evening.

As of this morning, the blaze is now 100% contained and Hawai‘i Fire crews are working on mopping up hot spots in denser tree areas and protecting a private home in the area. Firefighters let the head of the fire burn out into the ocean.

The brush fire was reported to dispatch at 7:47 p.m. Battalion Chief Matthias Kusch said the flames were initially north of the park down an access road off of Highway 11. High winds pushed the fire toward the park and alkaline ponds.

Kusch said a chopper was in the air at first light and they were going to do water drops from the ocean and mop up the fire. As of this morning, no injuries or damage to structures were reported.

While the cause of the fire is still unknown, Kusch said, it doesn’t appear to have been started by natural causes.

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At least two additional brush fires have cropped up islandwide within the past week and a half.

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On Nov. 29, approximately 1,140 acres of land were scorched after sparks from a welder ignited a fire in a grove of eucalyptus trees off of Highway 190 near mile marker 9.

On Dec. 5, a section of Highway 11 by mile markers 62-63 was shut down due to a brush fire, which burned nine acres. Kusch said that blaze was possibly ignited by a mower.

Kusch noted the winter months this year have been drier than usual, which could be a contributing factor to the fires.

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