(ABOVE PHOTO) A USGS HVO view of the flow front, taken on Sept. 19. Kaohe Homesteads is in the lower left portion of the image. The vent for the June 27th lava flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen on the skyline.
- The lava flow is moving very slowly at this point. Civil Defense measures an advance of only 75 yards since yesterday.
- The brushfire that broke out on the open ground north of the flow front is being contained and very little fire activity was observed this morning.
As the county works to keep yesterday’s brushfire contained, scientists are wondering about the cause of the reduced activity at the flow front. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote in Sunday’s update that it “may be due to a reduction in lava supply related to ongoing summit deflation – if so, the flow advance rate could rise again in the coming days as the summit resumes inflation.”
This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow has slowed considerably and has advanced approximately 75 yards since yesterday. No evacuation is needed at this time and area residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.
The current lava flow had moved into lighter vegetation yesterday and had started a brush fire in a remote area above Apa’a Road to the west or mauka of Highway 130. No structures or properties are threatened. The Hawaii Fire Department and the Department of Public Works are working to contain the fire area and to prevent any threat to neighboring communities. This morning there was very little fire activity with several hotspots within the perimeter.
Smoke conditions were moderate to heavy and due to a light south wind; the smoke was being dispersed across the Puna and Hilo areas. Smoke conditions are expected to improve with the increase in trade winds later today.
Construction activities on the Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road are continuing.
Once again, the public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas. Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision remains restricted and limited to subdivision residents only. Hawaii County Civil Defense
The June 27th lava flow remains active, with reduced activity at the flow front. A Civil Defense overflight this morning observed that the flow front has advanced only a minor amount over the past day. The flow front advanced no more than 75 yards (roughly 70 meters) between Civil Defense overflights yesterday morning and this morning. This drop in advance rate over the past two days may be due to a reduction in lava supply related to ongoing summit deflation – if so, the flow advance rate could rise again in the coming days as the summit resumes inflation.
The flow front this morning was 16.4 km (10.2 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) was 18.7 km (11.6 miles). The flow front this morning was 2.3 km (1.4 miles) upslope from Apa`a St. Active portions of the flow are still in thick forest, creating smoke plumes as lava engulfs trees and other vegetation. A brush fire yesterday afternoon was triggered by the flow in the broad open ground north of the flow front – Civil Defense reports this morning that the fire is being contained and very little fire activity was observed this morning.
Small breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts have been very vigorous recently. Some of these breakouts are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the adjacent forest.USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory