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Ka'u Information Update for September 19th, 2020

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) continues to battle a major brush fire that started on Saturday evening (September 19th) above Ka'alu'alu Bay in Ka'u.

Published by: HIRSC - Nevada (Henderson) Team


The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) is currently at the scene of a major brush fire approximately 1-mile above Ka'alu'alu Bay in Ka'u that was first reported Saturday evening (September 19th).

The initial call came in at 7:52 pm Saturday evening and HFD crews from the Na'alehu, Pahala, Kea'au, and Hawaiian Ocean View Estates (HOVE) Fire Stations along with Battalion 1, volunteers from the Discovery Harbor, Na'alehu, Pahala, Ocean View, and Volcano Village Stations are at the scene/staging area on Lio Lani Road near the bullpen.

Preliminary details at this time is that fire is burning in dry open pasture land approximately one mile above Ka'alu'alu Bay and is not under control. Fire is currently moving to the southwest towards South Point Road/South Point Park. An orange glow from the Ka'alu'alu Brush Fire is visible from the Ocean View, Discovery Harbor, and Na'alehu areas, which also lead to numerous 911 calls to HFD from residents in the area.

HFD officials were immediately not able to give an exact size estimate of the brush fire, as they were working to gain control of the fire, however, HIRSC - Hawaii Island Team Member in the area at Discovery Harbor estimates the fire is approximately 70+ acres in size with the smoke plume moving to the west-southwest with variable winds in the area.

At this time, no threat to structures and no road closures to report at this time, however, may change at any moment with conditions in the area. Some farm and ranch owners including an animal sanctuary near South Point and Ka'alu'alu, have begun to move livestock away from the area as a precaution as the fire continued to progress in the area.

HFD crews encountering the following challenges with this brush fire:

  • Access to the fronts of the brush fire is very limited and requires the use of multiple off-road HFD units to reach the scene driving on existing four-wheel-drive only roads. HFD Chopper is scheduled to arrive at the scene at just after sunrise on Sunday morning (September 20th) to begin water bucket operations.

  • Nighttime conditions/limited lighting in the area are also making it difficult for HFD crews to safely battle the fire and are taking appropriate safety precautions.

  • Water supply in the area is also limited at the scene and HFD Tanker and multiple Type I Engines area shuttling water from a water supply source located near Discovery Harbor to a portable tank set up at the staging area on Lio Lani Road.

  • Variable winds up to 11 mph along with dry conditions in the area causing the fire to spread quickly and HFD crews are working on a strategy to prevent further spread towards South Point Park and Road.

This is an ongoing incident and will provide an update as more information becomes available.

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