Waimea Blaze Scorches 10,000 Acres, Several Structures Threatened
Several structures are currently threatened as a brush fire near Waimea has grown to 10,000 acres. There is no containment as of 4 p.m. Saturday, July 31.
According to an alert from Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency, Hawai‘i Fire Department and DLNR’s Division of Forest and Wildlife are battling the blaze, located mauka of Highway 190 and north of Old Saddle Road.
No evacuations or road closures have been ordered at this time.
Due to smoke in the area, Civil Defense reports residents and motorists may experience poor air quality and visibility. County officials are advising residents in the area with existing respiratory illnesses to stay indoors, limit or suspend outdoor activity or consider leaving the area.
Motorists are advised to drive with caution.
The blaze was initially reported on Mana Road, near Parker Ranch land outside of Waimea, around 10:45 a.m. Friday, July 30. While fire breaks were established Friday night, the flames jumped the lines due to high winds, Hawai‘i Chief Kazuo Todd told Big Island Now Saturday.
Winds have continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Smoke from the fire can be seen from Waikoloa.
More than 70 fire personnel between HFD, DOFAW and Pōhakuloa Fire Department are battling the blaze. Todd said crews are utilizing both HFD helicopters as well as two US Army UH-60 Blackhawks from Pōhakuloa Training Area.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.