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Police seek info on series of suspicious fires

MEDIA RELEASE

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who may have information about the cause of half a dozen recent suspicious fires over the last two weeks.

The fires were located south of Puuanahulu along Hawaii Belt Road, also known as Route 190, in the areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (New Saddle Road) and the 14-mile marker.

Last Monday (Nov. 25) at approximately 3:33 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road in the area of the 14-mile marker in Kona.

Upon arrival, they discovered that the fire had spread north from the mauka side of the roadway toward the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, approximately four miles east and approximately two miles south along Hawaii Belt Road.

Last Tuesday (Nov. 26) at 3:54 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Puuanahulu.

Upon arrival, they discovered that the fire had spread from the mauka side of the roadway and headed south in the direction of the Puu Lani Ranch subdivision, burning approximately 150 acres of vacant land.

As emergency personnel were working to extinguish that fire, another brush fire was reported in the area of the 23-mile marker, also on Hawaii Belt Road. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned approximately a quarter of an acre.

Last Thursday (Nov. 28) at 5:50 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Puuanahulu.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned an undetermined amount of vacant land.

This Monday (Dec. 2) at 4:23 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the makai side of Hawaii Belt Road in the area of the 24-mile marker in the area of Puuanahulu.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 2,000 square feet of vacant land.

This Wednesday (Dec. 4) at 6:28 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road in the area of the 17-mile marker in the area of Puuanahulu.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 4,800 square feet of vacant land.

No structures have been damaged nor were any in close proximity to any of the fires. The total extent of the burned property has yet to be determined.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigations Section, along with county fire inspectors, have deemed the fires as suspicious in nature and continue to investigate their cause.

Police ask members of the public who frequent Hawaii Belt Road, especially in the areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway and the 24-mile marker, to be aware of the recent fires and to report any suspicious activity in the area immediately to police at 935-3311.

In addition, anyone with any information about the cause of the fires is encouraged to contact Detective Levon Stevens, at 326-4646, extension 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 or 329-8181 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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