The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) is currently battling a brush fire burning along Highway 190 (Mamalahoa Highway) in South Kohala that started on Saturday afternoon (November 28th).
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Holualoa and Kamuela) Team
The Hawaii Fire Department (HFD) along with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD) is at the scene of a brush fire that is burning along Highway 190 (Mamalahoa Highway) that was first reported on Saturday afternoon (November 28th).
The initial call came in at 2:01 pm Saturday afternoon and HFD crews from the Waikoloa, Waimea, and South Kohala Fire Stations along with Battalion 2, Chopper 2, Chopper 1, Volunteers from the Pu'uanahulu, Anekona, Kohala Ranch, and Kalaoa Mauka Stations, U.S. Army Fire Department from Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), and HPD officers from the South Kohala Patrol is at the scene located on Highway 190 near the 9-mile marker in South Kohala.
The brush fire broke out in the Keamuku Maneuver Area and grew to the size of a football field prior to the arrival of emergency crews. However, due to breezy trade winds and dry conditions in the area, brush fire quickly spread and later jumped over Highway 190 is currently burning in open pasture land own by Parker Ranch and the fronts of the fire are heading to the southwest and also above Highway 190 near the 9-mile marker.
The fire according to HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Kamuela) team member estimates the fire is approximately 20+ acres in size.
Due to the location of the fire, HFD crews are utilizing 4x4 vehicles and tankers to reach the fronts of the fire, Chopper 1 and 2 is also conducting water bucket drops. Water supply is also very limited at the scene and HFD crews are also utilizing Tanker 16 (3,000-gallon tanker/tender) and Engines to shuttle water to and from water supply sources from Waikoloa Village and Waimea, Department of Public Works (DPW) is en-route to the scene to supply HFD crews with a large water tender.
At this time, HPD officers have closed Highway 190 between Old Saddle Road and Waikoloa Road (Highway 191) due to smoky conditions on the highway and while HFD crews work to gain control of the brush fire.
The HIRSC team has heard reports the brush fire was sparked by welders working in the area just above Highway 190 near the 9-mile marker, however, HFD officials were not immediately available to confirm the details and the current focus was working to gain control of the fire.
This is still a very active incident and will provide updates as it becomes available.