Brush Fire Prompts Evacuation of Palamanui Campus

"Firefighters battle a fire on Ane Keohokalole Highway near Palamanui Tuesday afternoon." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

"Firefighters battle a fire on Ane Keohokalole Highway near Palamanui Tuesday afternoon." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

From the Source:

The fire, reported around 1:45 p.m., is burning vacant land north of Kaiminani Drive and makai of Ane Keohokalole Highway.

As of 3:20 p.m., fire officials said 80-100 acres had been burned and was not under control.

Hawaii Community College — Palamanui officials said the campus was evacuated about 3 p.m. All afternoon and evening classes have been canceled.

Hokukano Ranch Fire Burns 350 Acres

Hokukano Ranch fire as detected by NASA satellite.

Hokukano Ranch fire as detected by NASA satellite.

From the Source:

Firefighters are working to douse a brush fire ignited by lightning Sunday afternoon in a remote area of Hokukano Ranch.

Responding to a 2:04 p.m. report, firefighters from Captain Cook arrived at the scene 7 miles up Hokukano Ranch Road to find two moderate-sized brush fires burning about 50 acres in a very remote area with no radio or phone coverage, according to a media release from the Hawaii Fire Department. The department noted that someone witnessed lightning strikes in the area around the time the fire started.

Drought in West Hawaii Increases Risk of Wildfires Running Rampant Already

"North Kona, seen from the Highway 190 scenic lookout, is brown and dry from the ongoing drought." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

"North Kona, seen from the Highway 190 scenic lookout, is brown and dry from the ongoing drought." (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Did you know 99 percent of wildfires in Hawaii are started by people? This West Hawaii Today article written by reporter Max Dible, explores the effects of drought on wildfire. 

Check out HawaiiWildfire.org/lookout for tips on what you can do to help protect your home and family from wildfire.

From the Source:

Tamara Hynd, program and operations assistant with the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, said wildfires have already burned through roughly 34,000 acres across the state, more than double the yearly average of 17,000 with more than four months of a dry year yet to go.

“Drought always plays a factor because the longer it goes on, the more intense it gets,” she said. “Your larger fuels begin to dry out more and more.”

Some advice she offered to mitigate risk is to avoid parking on dry grass because heat from exhaust systems can ignite it, or to keep heavy machinery like welding equipment and weed whackers away from dry areas, as such work can result in sparks that start fires.

Hynd said it was repair to heavy equipment that was the catalyst for the wildfire that ignited in Volcano earlier this month.

People who keep their grass short, their rain gutters free of debris and who have a water source and/or fire extinguisher on hand are also less likely to cause accidental wildfires, she said.

VIDEO: Mauna Loa Brush Fire Update From NPS

“Briefing map used to chart the brush fire fight on Mauna Loa.” Credit: Big island Video News

“Briefing map used to chart the brush fire fight on Mauna Loa.” Credit: Big island Video News

From the Source:

“With the cooler and wetter weather, firefighters are focusing on mop-up and patrol of firelines,” a recent National Park Service media release stated. “They are also starting the process of back-haul, returning equipment and supplies used on the fire, by strategically bringing those resources back to be cleaned and refurbished. Additionally, fire crews are working with park biologists along the park boundary to assess fences and to carefully fall a limited number of trees that became hazards from the fire. Together they are also analyzing any potential impacts from the fire suppression efforts such as bulldozer lines that were created to stop the spread of the fire.”

Wahiawa Brush Fire Scorches 75 Acres of Land

The Wahiawa Fire could be seen from miles away. Credit: Savaughn Johnson

The Wahiawa Fire could be seen from miles away. Credit: Savaughn Johnson

From the Source:

Honolulu firefighters are investigating the cause of a Wahiawa brush fire that charred 75 acres of land on Whitmore Avenue Friday night.

Police shut down Kamehameha Highway from Dole Plantation to Whitmore Avenue as city and federal fire crews worked to douse the flames.

HFD officials believe the fire started on Saipan Road, which leads to a military installation. The area, which has a homeless encampment, is known for illegal dumping.

20 Acre Fire Near Auwahi Windfarm on Maui

The fire occurred in the vicinity of the Auwahi Wind Farm located in leeward Haleakala.

The fire occurred in the vicinity of the Auwahi Wind Farm located in leeward Haleakala.

We are glad all are okay at Auwahi Wind. They have been a great partner in Kahikinui's Firewise Community efforts. Recently, they contributed $10,000 to the Hawaiian homestead community for a new community entrance and fuels reduction.

From the Source:

The Piʻilani Highway (Hwy 31) at Mile Marker 20 in ʻUlupalakua is now OPEN.  The road was temporarily closed in both directions for about an hour and a half while crews responded to a brush fire in the area of the Auwahi Wind Farm.

Puako Brush Fire Scorches 3 Acres, Started by Powerline

" Firefighters work to douse a brush fire Thursday morning in Puako." Credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

"Firefighters work to douse a brush fire Thursday morning in Puako." Credit: Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today

One of the more unusual starts for a wildfire, but accidents happen and it is best to always be prepared for the next fire. We are glad to hear this fire didn't get any larger and impact the Firewise Community, Puako.

From the Source:

Battalion Chief John Whitman said the fire appeared to have started from a short on a Hawaii Electric Light Co. utility pole in the area. He said fire rescue personnel in South Kohala heard a loud explosion and then saw smoke. They subsequently reported it to dispatch and went to the scene.

Rhea Lee-Moku, HELCO spokeswoman, said personnel responded to the fire and are still working to determine its cause. However, she said a mynah bird appears to have contacted HELCO equipment by Hoohana Street, sparking the fire.

Leeward Farmers Rebuild as HPD Continues Search for West Side Arsonist

"Police are still looking for an arsonist they believe started four fires on Oahu's Leeward coast." (Image: Hawaii News Now)

"Police are still looking for an arsonist they believe started four fires on Oahu's Leeward coast." (Image: Hawaii News Now)

From the Source:

Police are still looking for an arsonist they believe started four fires on Oahu's Leeward coast earlier this month.

Two of those fires burned 8,800 acres in Makaha and Waianae. The most destructive fire started in Waianae Valley just outside Ka Ala farm.

Eric Enos operates the cultural learning center there and says he has no doubts the fire was arson. He also says it's not the first time something like this has happened in the area.

Just down Waianae Valley Road, employees at Angels Scrap Yard estimate fires damaged about 90 percent of their inventory.

Several farmers in the area are also working to recover after fire burned over crops and damaged buildings.

He knows there is no quick fix, but Enos says putting a gate at the end of Waianae Valley Road could help keep track of people coming into the area, and deter criminals from entering.

"It's a hassle but if you look at the road, the stolen cars, the dumping, it adds up and it's millions of dollars worth of damage," Enos said.

The Conversation: Fire Campaign - Look Out for Wildfires!

Credit: Flickr

Credit: Flickr

Check out our Executive Director, Elizabeth Pickett, on Hawaii's popular radio program The Conversation talk about Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization spearheading a messaging campaign called Wildfire LOOKOUT!

From the Source:

This has been a wild few weeks. We are talking wildfires...from California to Oahu’s west side, to the Big Island where firefighters are still working to protect special ecological areas, cultural heritage sites from being destroyed. A management team from California which has been helping the National Park Service as most of the blaze is within park boundaries.  This week the Hawaii Wildfire organization is launching a campaign to get the public to take steps now to prevent the start a wildfire.

Waianae Wildfire Destroys One Family's Home - Fundraiser Launched

Credit: KHON2

Credit: KHON2

A resilient spirit rises from the ashes. This hard-working family who lost their home in the Waianae Fire are showing what it means to stay positive even in the face of incredible trauma and loss.

Learn how you can protect your home and family with a few simple steps by downloading the Hawaii ReadySetGo! Wildland Fire Action Guide.

From the Source:

Turns out farm land wasn't the only thing destroyed by the weekend's wildfires in West Oahu. One family says they lost the place they called home.    

Originally from Thailand, the Jairuan family lived and worked on one of of the farm lands. While they lost their home and everything in it, they're grateful no one was seriously hurt. 

All the family can do right now is rely on the support of friends and family as they pick up the pieces, but Jairuan is rising above the ashes and staying positive. 

"This happened for a reason. This window is closed and the other one will open. Something will happen, something good will happen," he said.

Jairuan's friends have started a fundraiser for the family, to view please click here.

Waianae Brush Fire Damages 17-Lots at Waianae Agricultural Park

Credit: KITV4

Credit: KITV4

It pains us to hear this news - we know how much sweat, toil, and care goes into farming. If you are a farmer who was impacted by the fire, we are with you. HDOA's Agricultural Loan Division is also offering the farmers financial assistance since the state essentially owns the park.

If you are a farmer or rancher or manage large areas of land, the ReadySetGo! wildfire preparedness guide has a detailed step-by-step guide on how to prepare your lands for wildfire. Also, Pacific Fire Exchange has great resources for developing your own pre-fire  plans.

From the Source:

The brush fire in Waianae damaged all 17 state-lots at Wai'anae Agricultural Park. 

The 150-acre park is home to crops like tomatoes, kale and palms. After the fire ripped through Waianae Valley, what's left are its charred remains. 

The Waianae Ag Park is one of 10 in the state of Hawaii and one of four on Oahu. The state's Department of Agriculture says all 17 lots in Waianae suffered damages in the brush fire: four are total losses.

Apart from crops, several structures on those farm lots were destroyed. Some even lost vehicles, tools and equipment in the fire. The state says irrigation systems were also severely damaged

Kauai Firefighters Respond to 4 Back-to-Back Brush Fires

Kauai firefighters from the Waimea station responding to wildfires on Wednesday. Credit: Brian Howell / Flickr

Kauai firefighters from the Waimea station responding to wildfires on Wednesday. Credit: Brian Howell / Flickr

Kauai firefighters responded to four separate fires across the Garden Isle on Wednesday.

The causes for all four fires remain under investigation, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Kauai Police Department at 808-241-1711.

Crews Busy with Flare-ups as Wildfires in Waianae, Makaha Near 9,000 Acres

From the Source:

With 8,800 acres already burned, there's still no end in sight for two wildfires in Leeward Oahu.

On Tuesday, the Department of Education announced Leihoku and Makaha elementary schools reopened after flames got dangerously close to the schools on Monday forcing officials to cancel what was supposed to be the first day of classes.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (most current areas that are burning as of Aug. 7 12 pm). Orange and red are different satellites.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (most current areas that are burning as of Aug. 7 12 pm). Orange and red are different satellites.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (burn areas since the start of the fires). Orange and red are different satellites.

NASA FIRMS satellite imagery of Oahu fires (burn areas since the start of the fires). Orange and red are different satellites.

 

"The fuel load is very dry. It's been a hot summer. We haven't had a fire in a long time. There's a lot of fuel load out there, so all of these things are combining," said [Battalion Chief Howard] Naone. "Right now, everybody's kind of relaxed. These guys were on duty on Saturday, so they're tired, and they're trying to not rush. Rushing leads to injuries and leads to people getting hurt and bad decisions like that, so we're just trying to take our time."

"We're taxing the total island of resources. Engines are coming from the windward side of the island. They're coming from town. They're coming from as far away as Kahuku to come here and fight the fire," said Naone.

Recent Wildfires Burn Through State's Fire Response Budget

Makaha Valley fire that burned precious native forest. Credit: Dr. Clay Trauernicht

Makaha Valley fire that burned precious native forest. Credit: Dr. Clay Trauernicht

There is no question -- wildfire in Hawaii have extensive impacts on our natural resources from our native forests down to the coral reefs. And there is no question that fighting fires is expensive (and increasingly so everywhere including in Hawaii. Wildfire prevention and pre-fire management are proven to make a significant positive impact on the protection of communities and natural resources and are much more cost-effective than fighting fires. By supporting HWMO's work, you are also supporting our close partners from State Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the county fire departments, and all others who are tasked with putting it all out on the line to fight fires in Hawaii. With the very busy peak fire season erupting this last week, we hope you can consider making a contribution to HWMO to protect our communities, lands, and waters from wildfire. Mahalo!

From the Source:

Wildfires have burned roughly 30,000 acres statewide in the past week, gobbling up the state's limited resources for fire response efforts.

Among the casualties: The flames scorched some endangered native plants in the Makua Keaau Forest Reserve.

"Gouania vitifolia is a plant that has less than 50 individuals in the wild and a significant population was burned. Also, the state flower, hibiscus brackenridgei, we had a little place that was protected for them, managed for them and those burned up, too," said Marigold Zoll, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife's Oahu branch manager.

Less than six weeks into the new fiscal year, officials have already spent about a third of the DOFAW's budget for fire and emergency response, including the Kilauea eruption.

"Most of our fires are started by people, so if you see suspicious activities, please report it to the authorities," said Trauernicht. "Also beware, don't park in the tall grass, you can start fires from the catalytic converters under your car. "If you're barbecuing or having campfires, make sure you put them out."

HFD Gets Large Brush Fire in Kapolei Under Control

The Ka Makana Alii mall was evacuated due to the fire. Credit: Hawaii News Now

The Ka Makana Alii mall was evacuated due to the fire. Credit: Hawaii News Now

Very rarely do we get a chance to see a wildfire grow and see the fire response via a webcam. The Kapolei fire, which caused the evacuation of the large Ka Makana Alii mall, was a unique one for that reason. Thank you to Oahu's firefighters for continuing to protect lives and safety every day.

From the Source:

Firefighters worked vigorously Tuesday to extinguish yet another brush fire that burned in Leeward Oahu. 

The Kapolei fire was reported just after 3 p.m. near Renton Road and Kapolei Parkway.

Thick smoke was seen billowing for miles as almost 50 firefighters rushed to the scene.

The fire prompted the closure of Kapolei Parkway in both directions from Kualakai Parkway to Renton Road. That road reopened just after 7:30 p.m.

Ka Makana Alii was also evacuated around 4 p.m. Heavy smoke and the fire's proximity to the mall led HPD to block off entrances to the center, and mall security to order patrons out.

At one point, officials said the blaze was headed towards homes along Renton Road, but firefighters were able to stop it.

Mauna Loa Brush Fire Doubled in Size Overnight to 1495 Acres

Firefighters battle the brush fire on Monday evening at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Credit: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Firefighters battle the brush fire on Monday evening at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Credit: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

From the Source:

The brush fire that originated at Keauhou Ranch on Hawaii island Sunday morning doubled to 1,495 acres overnight, according to National Park Service officials.

Exacerbated by dry, windy conditions, the fire is now mostly within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and had consumed 1,250 acres of native forest on both sides of Mauna Loa Road by Tuesday morning. The blaze remains uncontained and is now less than a half-mile from the Kipuka Ki Special Ecological Area, which is home to threatened and endangered native plants and animals.

The fire — at the 4,500- to 4,800-foot elevation mark — is moving west towards Kapapala Ranch. No homes or structures are currently threatened, and it poses no threat to the Volcano community at this time.

Community Members Show Outpouring of Support for HFD Battling Leeward Oahu Fires

Oahu residents have been showing an outpouring of support for Waianae firefighters. Credit: Cliff Laronai / Hawaii News Now

Oahu residents have been showing an outpouring of support for Waianae firefighters. Credit: Cliff Laronai / Hawaii News Now

It makes us so happy to see so much aloha during a challenging time with the large fires burning on Oahu. Learn how you can support the firefighters by calling: Renee at 808-953-8919, Noe at 808-861-3122, or Maranda at 808-861-0874. Mahalo to the community members who are looking after our hard-working firefighters!

From the Source:

Hawaii residents are donating goods in droves in a show of support for the firefighters who have been battling the treacherous west side brush fires since Saturday.

“It really helps the guys," said Honolulu Fire Capt. Scot Seguirant. "When they’re out there working hard and they come back, and they find out that what’s there is actually from the community, that’s awesome. It makes you feel the love and makes you continue to do your job well.”

The two fires — in Waianae Valley and Makaha Valley — have scorched a combined 8,800 acres of land on the Leeward Coast.

So far dozens of Oahu residents, both adults and children, have dropped off items at the Waianae Fire Station, including donations of bottled water, Gatorade, fresh fruit, and granola bars, among other items.

Weather Officials Predict Increased Brush Fire Activity for Hawaii

Click above to watch the short Star Advertiser video.

Click above to watch the short Star Advertiser video.

Learn how you can prepare by visiting the Wildfire LOOKOUT! page.

From the Source:

Weather officials expect more brush fires in the coming months as Hawaii enters the peak of fire season.

Leeward Oahu has seen below normal rainfall levels this summer with just .02 inches on average in June, compared to the normal of about half an inch — the most recent data available, said Derek Wroe, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

“It’s usually a dry time of the year to begin with, but it’s definitely below normal,” he said.

”We tend to get a lot of growth in the brush … especially across the Leeward portions of the state. There’s a lot more fuel available,” Wroe said. “When you get a combination of these hot and dry conditions with a good amount of fuel that’s ready to burn and then largely we’ve had some fairly strong tradewinds, it creates a situation where you have an elevated fire danger.”

Waikoloa Brush Fire Burned Over 18,000 Acres

Amazing work put in by our firefighters who put it all on the line (literally) to protect important places such as Waikoloa Village and the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve. This fire will go down as the 2nd largest in Hawaii's modern history, falling short of the 25,000 acre fire in 2005 that burned to the very edge of Waikoloa Village.

Satellite image of the burn area.

Satellite image of the burn area.

Scorched brush is seen after a brush fire moved through Waikoloa. Credit: Bert Horikawa / Hawaii News Now

Scorched brush is seen after a brush fire moved through Waikoloa. Credit: Bert Horikawa / Hawaii News Now

The Hawaii County firefighters reported significant progress Monday morning in battling the Waikoloa brush fire that has been burning since Wednesday.

HFD said the fire was 95 percent contained. The massive wind-whipped brush fire has already scorched nearly 18,000 acres of land so far.

Authorities also report that what remains of the brush fire is away from public roadways, and no closures are in place. 

Latest Leeward Oahu Brush Fires Update: 2 Elementary Schools Closed, Structures Destroyed

We are deeply sorry for the losses so far incurred by the multiple wildfires burning in Leeward Oahu. Many livelihoods are also being affected by the fire -- we are thinking of you from the Big Island. Wildfire preparedness tips including what to do when a fire is burning in your area or if you are trapped in you home: http://www.hawaiiwildfire.org/fire-resource-library-blog/rsg-your-personal-wildland-fire-action-guide
 

From the Source:

"Monday marks day three of the ongoing battle to extinguish wildfires burning out of control on Oahu's Leeward Coast.

At least two fires have been burning since Saturday morning, charring a combined total of 5,000 acres.

View of fire from Moeha Street. Credit: Tessa Luna / Hawaii News Now

View of fire from Moeha Street. Credit: Tessa Luna / Hawaii News Now

Waianae Valley fire as seen Monday morning from Leihoku St. Credit: Hawaii News Now

Waianae Valley fire as seen Monday morning from Leihoku St. Credit: Hawaii News Now

Credit: Sam Cragen / Hawaii News Now

Credit: Sam Cragen / Hawaii News Now

On Monday, the Department of Education announced Leihoku Elementary in Waianae and Makaha Elementary would be closed closed for the day, on what was supposed to be the first day of the new school year.

As of late Sunday night, Honolulu fire officials said there was little containment for the two fires — one in Makaha Valley and another in Waianae Valley.

HFD provided an update just before midnight, saying the fire in Makaha, which has spread to 3,000 acres, was only 30 percent contained.

Credit: Adam Peoples / Hawaii News Now

Credit: Adam Peoples / Hawaii News Now

In Waianae Valley, firefighters lost the upper hand, saying the fire was 40 percent contained, down from a previous estimation of 50 percent containment Saturday night. More than 2,000 acres have burned in this fire as it slowly inches down slope."

 

At least five farm-type structures have been destroyed so far, and HFD also reported one minor civilian injury.

One family in the Waianae area says they've lost their home and livelihood in the unrelenting flames.