Update: Evacuated O‘okala residents allowed to return home following brush fire
Update: The brush fire threat in O‘okala has significantly decreased to now allow residents that evacuated to return home and for Old Māmalahoa Highway to be reopened at this time, according to Hawaii Fire Department.
Fire personnel will remain on scene through the night working the fire and monitoring conditions. Pa‘auilo Gym will stay open until Friday morning, should an evacuation shelter be needed.
Limited evacuations are underway near O‘okala, 28 miles north of Hilo, as Hawai‘i Fire Department works to gain control of a brush fire. A portion of Old Māmalahoa Highway is currently closed, fire officials report this afternoon.
For residents of O‘okala, Pa‘auilo Gym is now open as an evacuation shelter site.
HFD responded to the blaze at 12:02 p.m. According to a Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency alert, the fire is burning on the makai side of Old Māmalahoa Highway near mile marker 30. Approximately 10 acres have been scorched and no structures are threatened at this time.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.