Update: Mauna Kea Resort sheltering in place as Hawai‘i fire crews battle brush fire along Kohala Coast; portion of Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway closed

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Update at 8:25 a.m. on Tuesday: Two new brush fires that ignited Tuesday afternoon along the Kohala Coast have merged into one fire, Hawai‘i Fire officials confirmed.

The first fire started by Spencer Beach Park and the second by Mauna Kea Beach Drive. While there is no official count, fire officials say they estimate 500 acres have burned.

Hawai‘i Fire Deputy Chief Eric Moller said the blaze is burning between homes on Mauna Kea Resort property. At least two utility buildings belonging to the resort have burned down.

Firefighters have been battling the brush fires since 2 to 3 a.m. on Tuesday.

“The firefighting efforts have been incredible,” Moller said. “The fact that we don’t have 300 to 400 homes burned down is a testament to their efforts.”

Update at 6:28 p.m. on Tuesday: The newly reported flare-ups located near the Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach areas continue to burn.


An additional flare-up has been reported in the same area, just mauka of the golf course.

Along with Mauna Kea Fairways North, Hawai‘i County officials say the Villas at Mauna Kea have also been evacuated.

Guests at the Mauna Kea Resort continue to shelter in place. Emergency Medical Services are onsite to monitor the situation and provide medical services if needed.

Update at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday: Hawai‘i Fire Department confirms Mauna Kea Resort is sheltering in place as crews battle a brush fire in the area.

Vacation rentals Mauna Kea Fairways North have been evacuated.


Original post: Two more brush fires have broken out Tuesday afternoon on the Big Island. Both are in South Kohala, near the Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach areas, according to Hawaiʻi County officials.

They are in addition to the two fires that broke out early Tuesday morning. The Akoni Pule Fire in North Kohala has consumed 1,800 acres and is not contained. The Lalamilo fire charred 20 acres in Waimea but was contained hours ago, with crews now doing mop up duty.

As a result of the new fires, Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway is closed between the 69-mile marker and the Kawaihae Road Junction. 

Ashley Kaluna captured video of smoke rolling across Mauna Kea Beach Drive as she drove two adults and three children back to the Mauna Kea Resort.

Kaluna dropped her passengers, visiting from Arizona, off at 3:45 p.m. She said they were “very terrified” as they drove back to the five-star hotel along the Kohala Coast.


“They always have seen Hawai‘i as paradise, and they were very worried,” Kaluna said.

It is unknown at this time if hotel guests are being evacuated at this time.

Evacuations may be necessary, and individuals in and around the area should remain on high alert.

Linda Preskitt’s daughter, Erin Gallegos, captured video of the brush fire from her home in Waikōloa.

Preskitt said her daughter is about a half mile to a mile away from the blaze, which is blowing in the opposite direction. No evacuations have been ordered for the community, but Gallegos is ready, just in case.

Preskitt said there have been small fires starting up in the area due to wind-borne embers, that her daughter is worried about. what they’re worried about.

“I’m 4 miles up Kawaihae Road and we are having crazy, horrible gusts of wind,” she said.

Shelters remain open at Hisaoka Park in Kapaʻau and Waimea Community Center in Kamuela. Additional shelters may be opened based on need. Shelters are pet friendly, though owners are expected to bring supplies for their animals.

The Big Island is under a Red Flag Warning due to the high winds and low humidity caused by Hurricane Dora, that passed more than 500 miles south of the island on Tuesday.

To receive timely and essential alerts, the County urges residents to sign up for Everbridge messages from Civil Defense. This service allows individuals to receive critical notifications directly through their preferred communication channels, enabling them to make well-informed decisions in real-time. To register for this service, please visit

The public is also encouraged to visit the official County of Hawaiʻi Hazard Map at

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