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Ka'u Information Update for October 6th, 2019

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

HFD crews continue to monitor large brush fire that started late Thursday night (October 3rd) near South Point in Ka'u that scorched over 130 acres.

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) continues to monitor large brush fire off of South Point Road near Kaulana Bay (South Point Boat Ramp) that started late Thursday night (October 3rd).

A handful of HFD crews will continue to monitor the scene through the next couple of days for any flare-ups and hotspots. HFD reports the has scorched over 130 acres and says the brush fire is 95% contained.

Details from previous updates:

The initial call came in at 9:58 pm Thursday night and crews from the Na'alehu, Pahala, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates (HOVE), Kea'au, and Captain Cook Fire Stations along with Battalion 1, Chopper 1 (from Waiakea Fire Station) and volunteers from the Na'alehu, Ocean View, Discovery Harbor, Pahala, and Volcano stations responded to scene located 1-mile above Kaulana Bay off of South Point Road.

HFD crews were presented with a few challenges with this brush fire:

  • One of the challenges they encountered was the gusty trade winds, which were blowing from the NE at 25-30 mph, causing the fire to move quickly to the west towards South Point Road, where HFD crews set up a fire line to prevent further advancement and jumping South Point Road. (Smoke was visible on infrared satellite images near Ka Lae (South Point), see below)

  • Another challenge HFD crews encountered was limited water supply in the area, in which HFD utilized two tankers (one 2,000-gallon tanker from Pahala and one 3,000-gallon tanker from Central Fire Station in Hilo) to shuttle water from a supply point in Discovery Point to the scene. Engines on scene are also shuttling water to and from the supply point in Discovery Harbor.

  • They also encountered limited road access to the parts of the fire and are having to utilize smaller 4x4 vehicles (brush truck units) to reach deep spots of the fire in the open pasture land. They also utilized water bucket drops from Chopper 1 to help with extinguishing parts that were inaccessible.

  • A privately contracted bulldozer arrived on scene early Friday morning and began cutting a fire break around the perimeter of the fire, allowing crews to access to areas earlier inaccessible by HFD units and also allowing them to knock down any hotspots or burning near the origin of the fire.

No injuries were reported and also no damages to any structures have been reported. South Point Road originally closed on Friday morning (October 4th) has since reopened as of Sunday afternoon (October 6th) according to an HPD Nixle alert sent out.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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