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Napau Fire update for March 26, 2011

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By Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

A firefighter prepares a helicopter sling with a load of tools. Photo courtesy of National Parks Service.

Fire crews continue to fight the Napau Fire in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Saturday (March 26). The size of the fire is still reported to be 2,076 acres in size with 50% of the fire contained as of mid-day.

Napau Fire Incident Commander Todd Rankin said, “Crews will continue to mop-up the fire perimeter with 100% coverage of the line, and 100 feet into the burn. Persistence performing mop-up is essential, especially in these kinds of fuels, as just one source of heat could get this fire going again with the predicted drying trend next week…”

Rankin is from Olympic National Park and is part of a 50 person crew from various National Parks flown in to assist in the firefighting effort.

A helicopter delivers tools to firefighters in the field. Photo courtesy of National Parks Service.

A helicopter delivers tools to firefighters in the field. Photo courtesy of National Parks Service.

About a tenth of an inch of rain fell overnight and the forecast calls for drying weather and trade winds of 30 mph. The recent rains have added moisture to the soil slowing the spread of the fire. The fire is creeping and smoldering through dense ground cover with the most active time of day for the fire between 3-5 p.m.

Most of the fire is confined to single logs, standing dead trees, stumps, roots and large areas of dead vegetation on the Southeast perimeter of the fire.

The Chain of Craters Road remains open and drivers are cautioned to beware of fire vehicles and firefighters on the road.

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