Dry Conditions Prompt Road Closures, Campfire Restrictions in HVNP
Dry conditions have prompted road closures and campfire restrictions in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
Effective today, July 28, parts of Mauna Loa Road and Hilina Pali Road will be closed to motorized vehicles until further notice.
Despite ample rainfall in other parts of East Hawaiʻi, park officials say, Hilina Pali Road has only received about half an inch of rain since June 1. As a result, dry grasses and shrubs along the road exacerbate fire danger.
“Staying safe while protecting the natural and cultural resources of the park is our top priority,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Fire Management Officer Greg Funderburk. “Fire danger indexes in both areas are above the 90th percentile and any ignitions that occur would be difficult to suppress and likely to result in a large fire.”
Hilina Pali Road will be closed to motorists from the Kulanaokuaiki Campground to the Hilina Pali Lookout. Similar conditions were observed on Mauna Loa Road, which will also be closed to vehicles from the gate at Kīpukapuaulu to the Mauna Loa Lookout at 6,662 feet.
In addition, open fires will be prohibited at Nāmakanipaio campground, Kīpukapuaulu picnic area, and Kīlauea Military Camp until further notice. Propane or gas cooking stoves are permitted.
Pedestrians and bicyclists may continue to use both roads, and backcountry permit holders will be provided access to trailheads.
On average, human-caused wildfires make up 98% of all wildfire occurrences in Hawaiʻi annually. Many of these wildfires occur in proximity to roadways, communities and recreational areas, posing considerable threats to public safety.