Kohala Brush Fire Largely Contained, Old Saddle to Remain Closed
Firefighters from the Hawai´i Fire Department, the Pōhakuloa Training Area, and the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife have reigned in a brush fire burning across the district of South Kohala for several days.
Authorities reported Monday afternoon, July 19, that the blaze was approximately 90% contained after consuming more than 2,000 acres on the western slopes of Maunakea.
Firefighters remain at the active site to monitor hot spots, while other personnel and resources remain on standby should their deployment be required.
The Hawai´i County Department of Civil Defense reported at 2 pm Monday that Old Saddle Road will remain closed throughout the course of the day.
Conditions will be reassessed on Tuesday morning, according to a statement from Civil Defense. The brush fire’s spread is being aided by high winds that are also expected to persist in the area through early Tuesday morning.
The road was first closed when the fire broke out on Saturday afternoon, along with Daniel K. Inouye Highway. That highway, which is the primary and quickest travel path between East and West Hawai´i, was closed for multiple hours before reopening Saturday evening.