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Crews Continue to Battle Brush Fires in S. Kohala, PTA

By Tiffany DeMasters
July 22, 2022, 9:34 AM HST
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State and local fire crews are battling two brush fires that ignited Thursday, July 21, in South Kohala and Pōhakuloa Training Area.

Firefighters responded to the DKI Fire, located in South Kohala, Thursday afternoon. By Thursday night, the blaze forced the closure of a portion of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway between the Highway 190 Junction and the Old Saddle Road Junction.

That section of the highway remains closed this morning. According to Hawai‘i Fire Department, the brush fire is currently 100 acres in size and 75% contained. DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife is leading the firefighting efforts.

As long as the fire doesn’t spread, HFD officials say the plan is to reopen two lanes of traffic by noon. The Southbound lane would remain closed.

All traffic is being detoured through Old Saddle Road until further notice. As of this morning, the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency advised avoiding non-essential travel in the area or using alternate routes.

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Motorists are advised to expect delays and plan for additional time for travel. County officials remind motorists to drive with caution.

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The firefighters responded to the Pōhakuloa Wildland Fire Thursday morning. Approximately 600 acres were scorched in the range complex, near training area 22.

By Thursday evening, firefighters were conducting back-burn operations to control the spread of the flames.

Hawai‘i Fire Department is supporting crews in both operations.

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This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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