Na’alehu Information Update # 2 for December 5th, 2020
A brush fire that started Saturday afternoon (December 5th) near the Na'alehu Police Station in Ka'u scorches over 8-acres.
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Holualoa) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) responded to a report of a brush fire that broke out near the Na’alehu Police Station Saturday afternoon (December 5th).
The initial call came in at 2:14 pm Saturday afternoon and HFD crews from the Na’alehu, Pahala, Kea'au, and Volcano Fire Stations along with Battalion 1, Chopper 1, Volunteers from the Na‘alehu, Discovery Harbor, and Pahala Stations, and HPD Officers from the Ka’u Patrol responded to the scene located at the 63-mile marker on Highway 11 near the Na’alehu Police Station.
Upon the arrival of emergency crews, received is the first report came in as a possible rubbish fire near the 63-mile marker in Na’alehu on the makai (ocean) side. However, upon further investigation, found a quick-moving brush fire burning near the Na’alehu Police Station and was spreading towards the southwest. Smoke from the fire was visible throughout Na'alehu and Discovery Harbor.
Once emergency crews arrived at the scene, HFD crews immediately worked to gain control of the fire. HFD crews encountered the following challenges while battling this brush fire:
Access was very limited to the fire fronts, HFD crews had to utilize 4x4 Brush Trucks and Tankers to reach the fronts of the fire using existing trails and roads. Chopper 1 later after at the scene and conducted water drops in areas inaccessible by ground crews. A privately contracted bulldozer later arrived at the scene began cutting a break around the fire perimeter and also navigating around culturally sensitive sites in the area.
Dry and also windy conditions at the scene, cause the fire to spread quickly, HFD crews primarily focused on protecting and preventing the fire from spreading towards residence and structures in Na'alehu town to the southwest.
Smoky conditions also caused HPD officers to closed Highway 11 between the 62 and 63-mile markers in Na'alehu while HFD crews worked along Highway 11 to extinguish the fire.
Water supply was also very limited and HFD Tanker and Engine were utilized to shuttle water from a water supply source in Na'alehu to crews working at the brush fire. A portable tank and frog pond were set up to help with firefighting efforts.
Thanks to quick response and efforts by HFD crews, the fire was under control at 6:30 pm Saturday evening and handful of HFD personnel is expected to remain at the scene overnight to monitor the area for hot-spots and flare-ups.
The fire burned an estimated 8.7-acres of open pasture land and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries or damage to structures were reported.