Oahu (Central)

40 Acre Wahiawa Brush Fire Contained After Reigniting

Credit: Star Advertiser

Credit: Star Advertiser

Just because a fire is contained, does not mean it can’t reignite. Always be vigilant of your surroundings.

From the Source:

A 40-acre brush fire in Wahiawa that reignited Saturday was called contained at 4 p.m. today, but some smoldering continued inside the perimeter.

The fire was found in the same area as a 525-acre blaze that started May 19 and was contained on Wednesday.

A change in wind direction Saturday may have set off the latest fire, according to Honolulu Fire Department officials.



Firefighters Struggle to Contain Large Wahiawa Fire Along Kaukonahua Road

Wahiawa Fire. Credit: KITV4

Wahiawa Fire. Credit: KITV4

From the Source:

Honolulu firefighters are working to contain a growing brush fire that has scorched roughly 375 acres in Wahiawa.

One driver reported seeing thick smoke in the area.

“I was coming down Kaukonahua Road and it was just completely smoke. You could see it coming from Wahiawa. But as you got further down, you could see it -- like plumes of smoke coming up,” Cora Pierce said as she watched the smoke billow.

HFD said windy conditions, accessibility and steep terrain have been major challenges.

HFD Responds to Five Brush Fire Calls in One Day on Oahu

Credit: KHON2

Credit: KHON2

"I would say that generally it's a little early in the season. But when you have the growth with the rain that we've had, as long as it's there. It's ready to burn," said Scot Seguirant, HFD.

Now is the time to prepare. Check out Wildfire LOOKOUT! for tips and tricks on preventing and preparing for wildfire.

From the Source:

Additional ways you can prevent these kinds of fire include only lighting matches or other kindling when there aren't windy conditions, and being aware of where you throw lighted cigarettes. Having a shovel, water and fire retardent in your yard for use can also be useful when a fire comes near your home. Finally you can protect your home and family by simply being aware of what may cause accidental fires and limiting risk factors such as a lighted barbeque pit or campfire.

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.

Brush Fire Scorches 50 Acres, Shuts Down Highway in Wahiawa

Click above to view video.

Click above to view video.

Don't let the green grass deceive you! Even during the "wet season," wildfires can ignite and spread quickly. Stay alert and have a plan. Make sure to keep those grasses and weeds that are growing with all the rain away from your house. Learn more by checking out the Ready, Set, Go! Wildland Fire Action Guide.

From the Source:

"All the traffic going the other way, so we can sit in traffic going back and try to get through Waialua or we can sit here and at least see what's going on," motorist Leslie Maxwell said. 

The fire burned pretty close to the edge of Kamehameha Highway. Because of the wind conditions, fire officials were worried the fire was going to jump the road.

"The trade winds were going this way when we first arrived on scene, so the perimeter along Kamehameha Highway was burning. It was in danger of jumping Kamehameha Highway, but the wind shifted and it started burning the opposite direction so it worked in our favor," Battalion Chief Paul Kato said.

Fire officials say several abandoned vehicles and debris within homeless camps in the area were damaged in the fire.  

Kunia Brush Fire That Got Dangerously Close to Homes Now Contained

Credit: @katiepuananin/Twitter

Credit: @katiepuananin/Twitter

Big mahalo to firefighters for keeping the Kunia fire that burned hundreds of acres last Thursday from igniting homes. Rather than waiting for the last minute and staying to defend a home with a garden hose, the best way you can protect your home is by preparing far in advance of a wildfire. Check out Wildfire Lookout! and Ready Set Go! Hawaii Wildland Fire Action Guide for tips on how to best prepare for wildfire.

From the Source:

"The blaze first sparked around 11:42 a.m., and nearly 50 firefighters worked to put out the the flames, both by air and in several areas on the ground. Smoke could be seen for miles.

Residents also used hoses to wet dry brush.

'It's scary. Big flames!' said resident Shaylin Eligio, earlier in the day. 'It didn't look that bad, but now it is.'

Blustery winds helped the flames jump Kunia Road and race across patches of dry brush. 

In some areas, the flames got within 30 feet of area homes, residents said. No homes were evacuated because of the fire, but several residents opted to leave the area voluntarily because of heavy smoke."

HFD Extinguishes Two Separate Brush Fires in Waipio, North Shore

"HFD responds to an area near the Patsy Mink Park." Credit- Hawaii News Now

"HFD responds to an area near the Patsy Mink Park." Credit- Hawaii News Now

We are glad to hear homes and people were safe after Honolulu Fire Department was able to keep the blaze near Patsy Mink Regional park away from homes. It was a close call though and we are just in the beginning of peak fire season. Be prepared and have a plan!

From the Source:

"At one point, witnesses say windy conditions pushed the large flames close to homes and HPD evacuated nearby residents. Luckily, HFD extinguished the flames before any homes were damaged."

Crews Extinguish Waikele Brushfire in Central Oahu Regional Park

Credit: Terry Reis / KHON2 Contributor

Credit: Terry Reis / KHON2 Contributor

The busy summer continues for firefighters on Oahu. This time it was a five acre fire headed towards Waikele in Central Oahu Regional Park. Do you have everything you need to be Wildfire Ready? Check out Wildfire Lookout! for wildfire readiness tips.

From the Source:

"The call came in at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday from Central Oahu Regional Park.

Smoke was reported by the archery range, and when crews arrived, they found a small fire moving toward Waikele."

Firefighters Protect Wahiawa Homes as 2nd Fire Burns Native Forest

Uluhe fern. Credit - Star Advertiser

Wildfires in Wahiawa are demonstrating what's at stake in Hawaii: protecting communities AND native forests. 

"The resident said 'chunks of ash' also blew through the air, settling on her yard and pressing through her screen windows."

Just goes to show how important Hardening Your Home and Lightening Your Landscape is!

From the Source:

"Firefighters worked through the night to beat back flames from a wildfire in Wahiawa that initially threatened homes Sunday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, another fire, burning in steep and rugged terrain in the Ewa Forest Reserve above Wahiawa, burned through native trees and ferns grew to 75 acres Sunday."

"The fire spread rapidly Sunday 'because of two key challenges,' Ward said. 'Strong winds are helping to spread the fire, and, second, steep terrain.'

She said the land features '60 percent native forest, including koa and ohia trees and, in the understory (below the forest canopy), uluhe ferns.'"

Firefighters Contain 200-Acre Brush Fire in Kunia

“It’s very scary,” said one resident. “We are just kind of freaked out. Nothing like this is ever happened around here… We’re going to start packing just in case (we need to evacuate).”

A close call for this Kunia community is an important reminder to have an evacuation plan that includes everyone in the household, even your pets. 

Photo Courtesy of Dominique Dacanay

Photo Courtesy of Dominique Dacanay

From the Source:

“'My neighbor was actually on the roof. He could see and tell that it was pretty bad. I mean you didn’t have to be on the roof to see it that’s how high the flames,' said resident Wally Kumura."

"Crews got the call just after 6 p.m. Monday. The fire burned 200 acres north of the Royal Kunia subdivision."

"Marie Anderson rushed to her parents’ home to help take care of them and their dogs.

'I was fortunate because I was off tonight from work, so I was able to get here in time and just safety and secure and making sure everybody does stay safe,' she said."

Firefighters Battling Brush Fire Near Mililani Mauka (VIDEO)

Wildfires, unlike on the mainland where there are fire-adapted ecosystems, can be detrimental to our native ecosystems in Hawaii. The current Mililani Mauka fire is a reminder of just how destructive wildfires can be here. Keep an eye out for the after effects of the fire. After a solid rainfall event, check out the neighboring shoreline to see if there is residue smothering the reefs as a result of the wildfire.

"[The] native forest cover protects Hawaii's watersheds and allows rainfall to slowly recharge the aquifer. When native forests burns in a wildland fire, the soil erodes into streams and out onto reefs, causing damage far beyond the burn site. Recovering native vegetation is hindered by invasive plant species which quickly recolonize the site and often are both more prone to burning and better adapted to survive fire, resulting in a destructive cycle of wildland fires."

From the Source: 

"Fire responders from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildfire, and Honolulu Fire Department are continuing to fight the wildland fire located in the Kipapa drainage above Mililani Mauka, including parts of the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge.

Approximately 350 acres of mostly intact native forest has burned as of 12 p.m. Thursday.  Six DLNR firefighters and eight HFD personnel are trying to contain the fire using aerial drops of water by helicopter.

Due to the lack of road access and steep terrain, responders are relying on costly air support to contain the fire. Four contracted helicopters and HFD's Air One helicopter are currently battling the flames. No structures are currently threatened...

The 4,775 acre refuge is managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and protects habitat for several native bird species such as the 'elepaio, threatened and endangered plants, and endangered tree snails. The area burning is a mixed 'ohia koa forest with other native species present such as 'uluhe fern, loulu, iliahi (sandalwood), and halapepe."

Above: Credit - KITV4 News

Above: Credit - KITV4 News

Army to Conduct Annual Burn Next Week to Prevent Wildfires

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii is taking a very proactive approach to mitigating wildfire risk through a multi-pronged management strategy that includes prescribed burning. 

From the Source: 

Army officials are taking proactive steps to prevent fires on the Schofield Barracks training range during the hotter, drier months ahead.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) Range Development and Management Committee and the 84th Engineer Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, have spent the last three months removing brush and trees around existing range firebreaks and improving roads throughout the range complex to provide better access for firefighters and emergency personnel.

The work is being done ahead of the Army’s annual prescribed burn of the Schofield Barracks training range complex next week.

The burn, which is scheduled for May 26 through May 31, is designed to reduce overall fire danger in the area by removing highly flammable guinea grass and other vegetation.

If left unchecked, these grasses become large fuel sources for wildfires that can be difficult to contain and threaten area resources, officials said...

Freeman estimates that effective prescribed burns can reduce wildfire outbreaks by as much as 75 percent, making them an important tool to wildfire prevention."

Credit - U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

Credit - U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

Firefighters Battle Brush Fire in Wahiawa

From the Source:

"Honolulu firefighters are battling a brush fire in Wahiawa in the mountains above Helemano. Officials say the fire first sparked on state property last week, two-and-a-half miles past the end of the road at Helemano Military Reservation.

Officials say the fire, which is currently an acre in size, is still smoldering.

City and federal firefighters and the Division of Forestry and Wildlife will work until dusk to put it out."

Credit - KHON2

Credit - KHON2

Large Brush Fire Still Smoldering on Schofield Barracks

From the Source:

"U.S. Army Wildland fire crews, the Honolulu Fire Department and crews from the marines battled a brush fire at a training range on Schofield Barracks Wednesday.

The fire started Tuesday due to the rekindling of a fire in the same area that began October 15. The original blaze was 100 percent contained Sunday evening with no visible smoke or hot spots, the military said." 

Photo Credit: Christina Rainwater

Photo Credit: Christina Rainwater