Sunday, July 14, 2002

The Honolulu Fire Department, with the help of Army helicopters, brought a fire under control yesterday in the forest above Pacific Palisades that has burned since Friday. A command post was set up near Pearl City High School, where HFD's Air 1 helicopter picked up water to fight the blaze. HFD personnel also loaded water bladders worn and used by personnel fighting the fire in the mountains onto the helicopter.

Army helps battle
brush fire above
Pacific Palisades

Helicopters assist firefighters in
bringing the blaze under control

By Leila Fujimori

Two Army helicopters helped Honolulu firefighters bring a brush fire in a remote area above Pacific Palisades under control yesterday.

The blaze, which burned over 30 acres, did not threaten any homes, and much of the area was inaccessible to firefighters, said fire Capt. Kenison Tejada.

The fire, which started Friday at about 5:45 p.m., burned on both sides of the ridge along the Manana Trail.

Firefighters tried to put out the hot spots on the perimeter of the fire, but many of the edges were inaccessible, Tejada said.

Tejada said the fire began as two fires Friday and merged into one by yesterday.

The Fire Department dispatched 10 firefighters on the ground yesterday morning and its helicopter, which retrieved water from a portable tank at the top of Waimano Home Road. The 25th Infantry Division (Light) assisted with two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.

After aerial water drops, firefighters used brush beaters and picks and shovels to smother the fire.

The blaze caused a considerable amount of smoke, burning dry brush and green foliage, Tejada said.

The Fire Department and the Army used their helicopters Friday to battle the blaze, but ground units were not used Friday because it was "too late to insert anybody last night," Tejada said.

The Fire Department is asking the public to refrain from using the Manana Trail for the next few days.

"We don't want people getting trapped up there," he said.

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