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DLNR closes isle reserves due to fire danger

MEDIA RELEASE

Due to continued drought over the past year and extreme fire hazard conditions due to dryer than normal vegetation, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife is extending the closure of Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Kaohe Game Management Area until Dec. 31.

Closure authority is under Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 185, the Land Fire Protection Law.

According to DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hawaii branch manager Roger Imoto, the closure is necessary to protect the sensitive and unique natural resources in the area.

“Minimizing fire risk under extremely dry conditions is necessary,” he said, “and this now involves temporarily closing some areas from public access.”

In addition, the following closures will also be in effect beginning Nov. 1 and continuing until Dec. 31 or until sufficient rainfall reduces the fire risk in these areas:

CLOSED: Kaohe Lease Cooperative Game Management Area, Puu Waawaa Forest Reserve, Puuanahulu Game Management Area, Kapapala Ranch Cooperative Game Management Area, Kapapala Forest Reserve, and Kahua/Ponoholo Ranch Special Permit Area.

Pohakuloa Training Area will also be closed to public access until further notice by the Department of Defense.

All public activities will be affected by the closure. These activities include, but are not limited, to hunting, hiking, bird watching, off road vehicle use (ATV, motorcycle, OHV, etc.) and commercial activities.

OPEN: Use of Mauna Kea State Recreation Area remains unchanged. All other state lands accessible to the public remain open at this time.

For further information, call the Hawaii District office of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 974-4221.

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