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Kamuela Information Update for May 20th, 2020

HFD crews responding to reports of an injured hiker on the White Road Trail in Kamuela Wednesday afternoon (May 20th).

Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Holualoa and Kamuela) Team

The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) and Department of Land and Natural Resource (DLNR) responding to a report of an injured hiker on the White Road Trail/Hike in Kamuela Wednesday afternoon (May 20th).

The initial call came in at 2:58 pm Wednesday afternoon and HFD crews from the Waimea and Kailua (Rescue Company 7) Fire Stations along with Battalion 2, Chopper 1, HPD officers from the South Kohala Patrol, and DLNR DOCARE officers responded to the scene located approximately 1 mile in on the White Road Trail near the bridge crossing in Kamuela.

Preliminary details received at this time is that hiker (described as an adult female) had suffered an ankle fracture and was not able to continue on and needed the assistance of the emergency crews back out to the trailhead. The injured hiker was apart of a group of approximately 8 people (including the injured hiker).

Due to the bad weather conditions in the area, Chopper 1 was not able to access/commence with air extrication and has since returned quarters. HFD ground personnel met up with the injured hiker and are in the process of extricating the injured hiker off the trail to an awaiting HFD Medic for further medical assessment.

Details are slowly coming in and will provide an update as it becomes available.


Details about White Road Trail history:

White Road Hiking Trail was closed back in late 2006 due to a major 6.9 earthquake that caused damage to the trail and the Upper Hamakua/Kohala Water Ditch system located along the trail.

Repairs were made to the system and surrounding trail, however, due to access disputes and also safety concerns, the trail was never safely reopened. White Road Hiking Trail is highlighted in many guidebooks, social media photos, and videos, however, due to the recent uprise in popularity, so has trespassing into the area has increased as well.

Since the rise on social media, DLNR DOCARE officers have stepped up enforcement and on many occasions have cited numerous individuals for trespassing and a handful of people had to be rescued by HFD personnel since the trail was closed back in 2006.

According to HIRSC Team statistics/notes, there is an average of 1-2 rescues to happen on the White Road Trail on a yearly basis.

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