Volcano Information Update for July 31st, 2020
Small Brushfire Fully Extinguished in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Published by: HIRSC - Hawaii Island (Hilo) Team
Firefighters quickly extinguished a two-acre brush fire that ignited in dry ‘ōhi‘a woodland late Thursday afternoon, off Highway 11 near mile marker 31 between Nāmakanipaio Campground and Mauna Loa Road.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no injuries, and there are no structures in the area.
The blaze was first reported to Hawai‘i County Fire Department at 4:51 p.m. Hawai‘i County’s Volcano fire crew arrived on scene almost immediately, and got the fire under control by 5:30 p.m. A Hawai‘i County helicopter dropped several loads of water on the flames, and firefighting units from Pāhala, Kea‘au, the National Park Service, and volunteers from Volcano and Hawaiian Paradise Park assisted with containment, extinguishment and mop-up.
Moderately strong tradewinds and very dry conditions alongside the highway contributed to the spread of the brushfire, which was also fueled by dry native lichen growing on the top layer of volcanic ash that is prevalent in the area.
Many areas in the park are under severe fire danger due to low rainfall amounts. Mauna Loa Road from Kīpukapuaulu to Mauna Loa Lookout is currently closed to vehicles due to very high fire danger.
Did you know 99 percent of wildfires in Hawai‘i are started by people? Learn how to be fire safe by visiting http://www.hawaiiwildfire.org/lookout/. Motorists can help fire fighters and other first responders keep everyone safe by slowing down and heeding traffic control devices during fires and other emergencies, and by pulling over when emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens approach them.