Kauai (West)

Kauai fire crews handle brush fire that forced evacuations in Poipu

There were evacuations in Poipu yesterday afternoon due to a brushfire sparked at 3:45 pm.

From the source:

At one point, dozens of firefighters and three helicopters were working to extinguish the fire. Strong winds pushed the flames toward Koloa, though no structures were immediately threatened. With the dry brush and steady trade winds, it was enough to make residents uneasy.

“The houses down below us will be the biggest concern because a couple of years ago, a couple of houses burned from a brush fire in the same exact area coming through,” resident Aaron Hoff said.

The evacuation order for residents along Kipuka Street has since been lifted and an emergency shelter at the Koloa Neighborhood Center was set to have closed at about 9:30 p.m.  Poipu Road also reopened opened shortly after. So far there are no reports of injuries. No estimation on how many acres have burned so far.

Drought Kicks In - Wildfires Already on Kauai

Waimea Canyon Fire, 2017. Credit: The Garden Island / Mark Stainaker

Waimea Canyon Fire, 2017. Credit: The Garden Island / Mark Stainaker

Drought conditions are kicking in across the Hawaiian Islands, including on Kauai, where multiple brushfires have already burned. 75% of wildfires in Hawaii occur when the drought monitor is lit up. Now is the time to be ready using your Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide and Wildfire LOOKOUT! tools.

From the Source:

While recovery from April 2018 floods continues on the North Shore, the Westside is looking at severe drought conditions through September.

“We’re already seeing agriculture impacts, especially for the ranchers and we’re expecting a more active brushfire season,” said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hydrologist, Kevin Kodama in a Wednesday press conference.

Kokee Road Fires Under Investigation

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From the Source:

Firefighters responded to multiple brush fires that broke out along Koke‘e Road throughout the day Sunday, starting in the early morning hours and ending in the evening.

There were no reports of injuries or structural damage related to the fires.

Roughly 50 acres were burned before the blaze could be contained by emergency crews around 5:20 p.m. Fire crews ran out of water in their engines throughout the course of the day fighting the fire and were forced to reload on several occasions.

Anyone with information is urged to call the KPD at 241-1711.

Firefighters Extinguished 4 Brush Fires in Kekaha

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From the Source:

Firefighters extinguished four brush fires in Kekaha, in an area about 25 feet by 400 feet, near the vicinity of Kikiaola Harbor in Kekaha on Sunday.

Firefighters from the Waimea and Hanapepe fire stations responded to the brush fires that were reported at 2:40 p.m.

Hanapepe fire station responded to assist with two brush fires closer to the harbor entrance. 



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.

Waimea Canyon Fire Largest of Three

Credit: Mark Stainaker / The Garden Island

Credit: Mark Stainaker / The Garden Island

Kauai may have been blessed with rains of late, but that also means further growth of unmanaged flammable vegetation. Waimea Canyon, no stranger to large wildfire incidents, makes for difficult firefighting conditions. We thank first responders for their hard work on these challenging fires.

From the Source:

"State and county firefighting crews continue to battle a brush fire that is burning at the western edge of Waimea Canyon Tuesday. The fire is one of three that scorched over 60 acres of brush since yesterday.

About 30 DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildfire personal, along with the Kauai Fire Department, are establishing a control area between the 800- to 1,500-foot elevation of the mountain, amid grassland and haole koa shrubs. No homes or structures are threatened."

VIDEO: $5,000 Reward Offered for Capture of Serial Arsonist on Kauai

Screen capture from KHON2

Screen capture from KHON2

"We are very lucky that no injuries have occurred but that can all change in a split second."

This is what's at stake when a serial arsonist is on the loose. Starting intentional brush fires is a serious crime and can affect the lives and safety of many individuals, let alone impact our precious resources. 

CrimeStoppers is offering $5,000 for anyone who is able to catch and identify the person/persons responsible for these fires in Kauai (more than 100 intentionally set on the island since last December!)

From the Source:

"When calling CrimeStoppers, tipsters are required to remain anonymous and phone numbers are untraceable. Callers are given a tracking tip number, to help identify them and the related incident. They are then advised to call back to check the status of the tip that was given. If the information received from the caller was valid and an arrest was made, the caller may then be eligible to receive a reward."

"The way these fires have been expending our resources, is that it's taking away from the rest of the communities." - Captain Daryl Date, Kauai Fire Department

Kauai Firefighters Battle Brush Fire in Kaumakani

Credit - Kauai Fire Department

Credit - Kauai Fire Department

The importance of lending support to firefighters as a large landowner goes a long way. If you are a large landowner or manager, make sure to disclose any support you can give to your local fire department ahead of time, before there's even a fire threat. 

From the Source:

"Kauai firefighters extinguished a brush fire that broke out shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday in Kaumakani.

The fire scorched nearly 600 acres of land owned by Gay & Robinson. Strong winds made it difficult but firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze by 4 p.m., officials said.

Crews from the Waimea, Hanapepe, Kalaheo and Kapaa stations responded along with Rescue 3, Air 1 and a battalion chief. Firefighters also received assistance from the landowner, who provided water trucks and other equipment."

Kokee Road on Kauai Reopened, Brush Fire 100 Percent Contained

Screen capture from KHON2

Screen capture from KHON2

Amazing job by our fire suppression agencies - it takes a collaborative effort amongst agencies to put fires out like this.

From the Source:

"As of Sunday afternoon, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said the fire has burned more than 400 acres...

At approximately 10 p.m. Friday, a bulldozer was dispatched by DOFAW to cut firebreaks on an old dirt road. This enabled two DOFAW and two Kauai Fire Department trucks to reach the west and north flanks of the fire and begin to battle it. The first responders continued their efforts until approximately 2 a.m. Saturday and then returned to their respective stations...

Air 1 arrived on scene at 7:30 a.m. to do water drops and three bulldozers and a water tender contracted by DOFAW arrived about an hour later to assist.

According to a preliminary investigation, the fire started on the side of Kokee Road just before the “hairpin turn” roughly one mile up from the base of the roadway. The fire then travelled all the way up to Pokii Ridge where it continues to burn."

Hot Under the Collar Over Wildfires

"Wildfires like this one are increasing across the island and are extremely detrimental in a variety of ways." Credit - Chief Eric Moller, USAG-P, FES and HWMO

"Wildfires like this one are increasing across the island and are extremely detrimental in a variety of ways." Credit - Chief Eric Moller, USAG-P, FES and HWMO

Highlight of Ilene Grossman (Planning Assistant) and HWMO's efforts to protect Kauai resident and native resources from wildfire!

From the Source:

"'I want to do my part in protecting the Hawaiian Islands’ natural and cultural resources,' says Grossman. 'Wildfires have a devastating impact on our islands in general, and I want to offer my time to help our communities with this growing issue.'

As long as residents do their part by being proactive and informed, the number of fires can decrease. Regular maintenance of yards and landscaping, for example, is one way to help mitigate fires. It’s important for the community to work together to make this happen, including government entities, as wildfires are both dangerous and expensive.

'When fires burn native forest, what comes back are non-native, invasive grasses and other species that are more fire prone, creating a vicious cycle of fire,' explains Grossman.

Additionally, after a fire, soil drifts into the waterways, smothers reefs and impacts water quality. Air quality is yet another concern that especially impacts fire-fighters. Moreover, the cost to taxpayers to put out each fire and rebuild afterward is another negative effect.

IAFC Honors Kauai Fire Department for Overnight Rescue of 121 Hikers

Congratulations to Kaua'i Fire for receiving one of the highest honors firefighters can receive. Well deserved after an incredible, unprecedented rescue effort. Mahalo for your continual courage and selflessness.

From the Source: 

"The daring two-day rescue of 121 hikers stranded by a sudden flash flood along the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kaua'i, Hawaii, ranks as one of the largest trail rescues in island history. Facing torrential rain, gusting winds and rising waters, Rescue 3 of the Kaua'i Fire Department repeatedly put their own lives at risk to return all 121 survivors to safety.

The heroic actions of Rescue 3 are being lauded with the 2014 presentation of the International Association of Fire Chiefs' (IAFC) and Motorola Solutions' prestigious Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor. For 45 years, the award has recognized first responders around the world for their expert training, leadership, heroic actions and safe practices.

Medals will be given to Captain Gordon Tamura, Rescue Specialists Aaron Hawthorne and Adam Hussey, Rescue Operator Bryan Doo and pilot Clifton Cates at the general session of Fire-Rescue International on August 14 in Dallas."'

"As one survivor has said, praising their selfless acts of courage, 'I will never look at another firefighter the same way. I now intimately know the risks they take and the sacrifices they make to ensure the safety of others. That day, it was evident to all 121 of us, we were in excellent hands.'"

Above: Credit - Hawaii News Now

Above: Credit - Hawaii News Now