Update: Red flag warning and wind advisory are canceled for Hawai‘i Island

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3:56 p.m. Thursday update: The National Weather Service has canceled the red flag warning for leeward portions of Hawai‘i Island.

12:09 p.m. Thursday update: The National Weather Service Red Flag Warning remains in effect through today for leeward areas of Hawai‘i Island.

Northeast winds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts of up to 50 MPH and dryer conditions are occurring on Hawai‘i Island.

Due to the Red Flag Warning, Hawai‘i County Mayor Roth has issued the following prohibitions through his Emergency Proclamation issued at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday afternoon:

  • All outdoor burning and all outdoor open flames are banned in the Districts of North and South Kohala, North and South Kona and Ka’ū.  This ban is in place until noon Friday.
  • All camping permits for today are canceled for the following Beach Parks, Mahukona, Spencer, Kohanaiki, Punalu‘u and Whittington Beach Parks.
  • Avoid all outdoor activity that involve other fire ignition sources or may cause sparks, such as welding and grinding metal.
  • Avoid parking of vehicles on dry grass after travel.

This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

Update at 4:19 p.m. Wednesday: The National Weather Service forecast office in Honolulu has issued a red flag warning for portions of the Big Island through 6 p.m. Aug. 31, taking the place of the previously issued fire weather watch.

A red flag warning has been issued for portions of the Big Island. (Image courtesy of the National Weather Service)

Dry fuels combined with strong and gusty trade winds and low humidity will produce critical fire weather conditions tonight through Thursday afternoon in leeward areas of the Hawaiian Islands. It is important to note that the winds for this event will be comparable in strength to the Aug. 8 event, when wind gusts of more than 60 mph were observed.

The warning area includes the southern and interior portions of the Big Island as well as Kohala.

Trade winds of 15 to 30 mph, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph, are expected in leeward areas of all islands. The strongest wind gusts will be downwind of higher terrain. Minimum humidity of 45% to 55% in the warning areas also is forecast tonight, lowering further to 35% to 45% Thursday.

This combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.

A red flag warning does not predict new fire starts.


Outdoor burning is not recommended. Heat from vehicle exhaust systems also can ignite dry grass. Park cars on paved areas or where vegetation is trimmed and cleared.

Delay activities that could throw off sparks until the wind dies down.

For actions you can take to protect life and property from wildfires, visit the Hawai’i Wildfire Management Organization website.

A wind advisory is also now in effect until 6 p.m. Thursday for northern and southeastern portions of the island.

A wind advisory also was issued for some parts of the Big Island. (Image courtesy of the National Weather Service)

The National Weather Service says northeast winds of 20 to 30 mph, with localized gusts of about 50 mph, can be expected in the advisory areas. Strongest wind gusts should occur on the downwind/leeward side of terrain.


Winds this strong can tear off shingles, knock down tree branches, blow away tents and awnings and make it difficult to steer, especially for drivers of high-profile vehicles.

Watch out for falling tree branches when walking or driving. Make sure tents and awnings are secure or take them down. Be prepared for power outages.

Hawaiʻi County officials are urging the public to prepare for the fire weather conditions, which can lead to rapid spread of wildfires that could be difficult to contain

“We’re asking our residents to protect each other by being cautious and remaining mindful in their actions,” said Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth. “Last time we had similar conditions, multiple fires sprung up along our leeward coast. These fires can potentially put our firefighters and communities at large in harm’s way. By remaining mindful and refraining from potentially risky behaviors, we can significantly reduce the chances of large brush fires this time around.”

In response to the fire weather, the following measures are now in effect on the Big Island:

  • All camping permits for Aug. 31 within the affected beach parks in the red flag warning areas are canceled. This includes Mahukona Beach Park, Spencer Beach Park, Kohanaiki Beach Park, Punaluʻu Beach Park and Whittington Beach Park.
  • Open flames, fire pits and grills on County property are prohibited until further notice.
  • People are strongly advised to avoid outdoor activities involving open flames, such as outdoor cooking, welding and grinding metal, during this period.
  • Avoid parking vehicles on dry grass after travel to prevent potential fire hazards.
  • Property owners are urged to secure outdoor items and implement necessary fire safety precautions on their premises.

The County assures residents that any updates or changes in conditions will be promptly communicated. Safety remains the top priority, and the cooperation of all residents is crucial to mitigate the risks posed by the prevailing fire weather conditions.

Original story: The National Weather Service Fire Weather Watch for leeward areas of Hawai‘i Island, from North Kohala through Kona to Ka‘u Districts, remains in effect for Thursday.

Northeast winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour and dryer conditions are expected to impact Hawai‘i Island on Thursday.

Under these conditions, wildfires will spread rapidly and be difficult to contain.

Due to the Fire Weather Watch, the following are in effect;

All camping permits for Thursday, for the following Beach Parks are canceled: in Kohala, Mahu Kona and Spencer; in Kona, Kohanaiki; and in Ka`u, Punalu`u and Whittington Beach Parks.  

All open flames, use of fire pits and grills on County property is prohibited.

Please avoid all outdoor activity that involves an open flame, such as outdoor cooking or other fire ignition source, such as welding and grinding metal.

Please avoid parking of vehicles on dry grass after travel.

Secure outdoor items and mitigate fire safety concerns on your property.

For wildfire preventive actions, please visit the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization website at

For more information, please visit the County of Hawaii Hazard Impact Map.

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