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High winds fan flames of brush fire in Pāhala

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Fire crews continue to battle a brush fire in Pāhala that is not contained and has now reached nearly 100 acres. At this time, no structures are presently threatened and no evacuations are in effect.

While the fire was initially reported to have burned 200 acres this morning, Hawai‘i Fire Battalion Chief Eric Moller said the acreage was reduced after crews plotted out the affected area.

The blaze, named the Maile Fire, was initially reported at 11:03 a.m. on Sunday. The fire is burning predominantly within macadamia nut orchards and is wind driven, Moller said.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Maile Street is closed due to downed trees. Weather conditions continue to be unfavorable with northeast winds forecasted to be 25 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

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Several volunteers, recruits and career firefighters are on the scene. There is a dozer working on a fire break, but terrain hazards, including trees and a deep gulch in the area, have been a challenge. The hope is to have fire breaks in place by 2 p.m.

The public is asked to avoid the area and be aware of emergency response vehicles and personnel in the area. No evacuations are anticipated but depending on weather conditions, this may change.

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

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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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