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Ka'u Information Update for October 4th, 2019

HFD crews continue to battle large brush fire that sparked near South Point in Ka'u late Thursday night (October 3rd).

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) is currently on scene and responding to report of a large brush fire off of South Point Road near Kaulana Bay (South Point Boat Ramp) that started late Thursday night (October 3rd).

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

The fire is currently burning inside open pasture land located within South Point Park and has already burned approximately 30-40 acres and currently remains not under control nor contained at this time.

HFD crews are currently encountering 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. Crews say an HFD Chopper will be arriving on scene at first light Friday morning (October 4th) to conduct water bucket operations.

  • Also, HFD crews are currently working on getting a bulldozer to the scene to help with cutting breaks around the perimeter of the fire. However, no ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) was given.

HIRSC team is aware and was also sent a copy of a video from social media on what may have caused the brush fire in South Point. HFD and HPD officials also are aware of the witness reports and the video and say they have not determined the cause or origin of the fire at this time. And efforts are at this time are focused on containing/gaining control of the fire prior to beginning their investigation.

At this time, there is currently NO Threat to any nearby structures and NO Road Closures to report at this time.

This is an ongoing incident and will continue to provide more updates as it becomes available.

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