2,700-acre Waikoloa brush fire is reduced to flare-ups
The Big Island blaze is mostly contained, an official says
WAIKOLOA, Hawaii » Firefighters continued to mop up remnants of a 2,700-acre brush and grassland fire above Waikoloa in West Hawaii yesterday, Big Island Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira said.
A firebreak had been cut around the entire area by yesterday morning, but at nightfall the fire was considered only 80 percent contained because crushed vegetation remained in parts of the break, leaving possible paths for fire to creep out of the enclosure, Oliveira said.
No fire front remained, but hot spots flared up from time to time amid sustained winds of 20 mph. However, the wind direction forced flames toward areas already burned, Oliveira said.
Engaged in the mop-up were 57 county, state and federal personnel.
Firefighters were being more than usually cautious because the burn is in an area used during World War II training for firing high-explosive shells and other ammunition. No incidents involving ammunition were reported.
All roads were opened at midafternoon. The fire, of unknown origin, started above Waikoloa village Tuesday afternoon and spread uphill, away from the village, before being stopped along Mamalahoa Highway.