The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) Crews continue to battle a major brush fire in Honu'apo, Ka'ū that broke out Friday evening (April 23rd) and leading to the closure of Highway 11 (Māmalahoa Highway) and evacuation of one residence.
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Holualoa) and Maui (Makawao) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) still remains at the scene of a major brush fire that broke out near Highway 11 (Māmalahoa Highway) in Honu'apo, Ka'ū Friday evening (April 23rd).
The initial call came in at 5:49 pm Friday evening and HFD Crews from the Na'alehu, Pāhala, Central (Tanker 1), and Volcano Fire Stations along with Battalion 1, Volunteers from the Na'alehu, Pāhala, Discovery Harbour, and Ocean View Stations, and HPD Officers from the Ka'ū Patrol responded to the scene located on Highway 11 near the 60-mile marker in Honu'apo.
Again, preliminary details received is that the brush fire was reported burning in a remote area approximately 1/2 mile east of Whittington Beach Park between Highway 11 and Ka'ū Coastline and growing in size due to the moderate trades pushing the fire towards the southwest towards Whittington Beach Park and also to the north towards Highway 11.
Due to limited access and also culturally sensitive sites nearby or within the brush fire scene, HFD Crews had to utilize existing 4x4 roads and trails to access fronts of the fire, however, due to the breezy trade winds, the fire continued to push towards the southwest and also mauka (mountainside) to Highway 11. Chopper 1 was unable to respond to the scene following the first report due to weather and also nightfall, however, is scheduled to assist HFD Crews with water bucket drops and extinguishment at first light on Saturday, April 24th.
Due to the shift in fire direction, HPD Officers closed Highway 11 between the 58 and 61-mile markers in Honu'apo to allow HFD Crews to stage in the area and prevent further fire spread across Highway. Motorists and residents needing to travel between Pāhala and Na'alehu towns have been asked to use Old Cane Haul Road (Ka'alaiki Road).
Wind conditions caused the fire to remain out of control and grow in size. As a precaution, HFD Crews safely assisted with evacuating a nearby residence in Honu'apo, and residents and pets were able to safely make out of the area by private vehicle. HFD Crews then took a defensive attack stance to ensure residence remained at bay.
The fire also is threatening overhead electrical and telecommunication utility lines near the fire scene and Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), Hawaiian Telcom, and Spectrum have been notified and be on standby to respond in the event the utilities are compromised by fire.
The brush fire continues to remain out of control and at last checked, has scorched an estimated 50+ acres of dry open brush in Honu'apo.
This is an ongoing incident, we will provide an update as it becomes available.