Mana Road Brush Fire Update: Runaway Fire Caught on Highway 190, Winds Dying Down
* Updated August 1, 6:33 PM
The Mana Road brush fire that jumped Highway 190 has been caught, officials announced this evening.
The blaze, which continues to burn around the Maunakea region, has scorched more than 40,000 acres. During a 5 p.m. briefing, Hawai‘i Fire Chief Kazuo Todd stated the blaze is being fought on three different fronts.
One of the fronts is in the Pu‘ukapu region. Residents of the Pu‘ukapu Hawaiian Homestead were ordered to evacuate Saturday, July 31. Todd stated that most of the wildland area has been burnt down. Crews are now dealing with hot spots.
The runaway fire that jumped Highway 190 by mile marker 9 has been caught at this time and so at the moment, the only active fire is east of the highway in Waiki‘i Ranch where residents were also ordered to evacuate.
“The weather has stabilized and the winds that have been prevailing, driving the fire, have died down,” Todd said. “At the moment the fire is not contained. We’re working feverishly to protect our communities.”
With the runaway fire by Highway 190 caught, Mayor Mitch Roth said he hopes to rescind that in the next couple of hours.
Roth also advised all residents to take caution as the air quality is not great.
As of Sunday afternoon, there are 50 fire apparatus on scene with over 140 personnel. The National Guard was also been called out to assist.
Six choppers are working on the fire breaks and 14 dozers working to build fire lines.
So far, two homes have been confirmed destroyed in the blaze. County officials say more abandoned shed-type structures have also been taken in the flames.
Hawai‘i Fire Department has been fighting the blaze with help from DLNR, the National Guard and Pōhakuloa Training Area. Five helicopters from the Oahu-based 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (four UH-60 Blackhawks and one CH-47 Chinook), the team has been dumping water on the fire from sunrise to sunset.
Complementing this effort, the PTA public works team is manning four large bulldozers to cut firebreaks ahead of the fire, PTA officials stated. The PTA team of approximately 12 firefighters from the base have been involved with the fire since it began on Friday, under the direction of the incident command center established at West Hawaii Concrete.
“The entire team fighting this wildfire includes brave men and women from the local community. Together we will do everything we can to protect the lives, homes and business and ‘aina,” said Lt. Col. Kevin E. Cronin, Commander Pohakuloa Training Area.