Gallery: Residents Capture Images of Large Blaze Burning Through South Kohala
After days of rain, Waimea residents are now suffering the impacts of a large brush fire as smoke fills the sky and flames threaten homes.
The brush fire was initially reported Friday, July 30. By Saturday night, the blaze had scorched 14,000 acres and had consumed small sheds and one confirmed vehicle.
As the fire was fanned with shifting winds Saturday, the National Weather Service in Honolulu announced a wind advisory for all day Sunday.
Highway 190 between the Lalamilo Farm Road and Waikoloa Road due to the ongoing blaze. County authorities have ordered the evacuation of the Pu‘ukapu Homestead and Waiki‘i Ranch communities. The Old Saddle Road remains closed at this time.
Jamie Biele is housesitting a home in Waimea. Throughout the day Saturday, she watched from the Laelae Road residence as smoke settled over the South Kohala town throughout.
Biele said the sight has been sad and alarming. She also expressed concern for the first responders trying to contain the fire in the high winds.
“The wind gusts sound very ominous,” Biele told Big Island Now. “I think it’s gonna be a long night.”
Residents who are close enough to see the fire should evacuate the area. A shelter is available to displaced residents at the Waimea District Park in Kamuela.
Hawai‘i Fire Department and DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife firefighters are on scene and continue to battle the blaze.