Two brushfires consume at least 145 acres in Ka‘u

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Location of Ka‘u brushfire Saturday, August 4, 2018. Image courtesy of NASA.

Fire/rescue crews responded to an alarm Friday night (Aug 3) to Kaalualu Road near Discovery Harbor Subdivision in Ka‘u  for a pair of brushfires.

The two brushfire areas are in a very large, nearly roadless area of mostly 10-15 foot Hale Koa, Guinea Grass, and Christmas Berry trees. The fires were being fanned by strong east-northeast winds. Crews learned the extent of the brushfire area after daybreak Saturday (Aug 4). The fire is in the rough terrain of old pahoehoe lava flows with a north and south area of burning.

A D-9 bulldozer worked through the night with a D-8 bulldozer on site Saturday morning. The bulldozers have cut a firebreak around the south side of the fire scene and were working to encircle the area burning on the north side. A helicopter performed water drops on the fire. As of Saturday evening, the fire was reported to be 80 percent contained. But strong and gusty winds have been problematic to extinguish and control the fire.

Hawaii County Fire Department crews will be working overnight to put down hotspots and any areas that jump the firebreaks. Bulldozers will work through the night and helicopter operations will resume after daybreak Sunday (Aug 5).

The area of the brushfires is on private land with the northern brushfire area burning 35 acres and the southern burn area at 110 acres as of Saturday evening.