Reports say no injuries or threatened structures at this time
May 22, 2010 – Kawaihae, Hawaii
UPDATE – (10:00 pm) Hawaii Police say the Akoni Pule Highway is now open, but advise travellers to use caution because there are still fire trucks in the area.
Big Island emergency officials are battling a brush fire that has burned about 300 acres near Kawaihae.
A county message that was received shortly after 11 am said the fire had forced the closure of the Akoni Pule Highway. Reports say the fire jumped the road near the 12 mile marker, which places it about a mile south of Lapakahi State Historical Park.
News reports say the fire started around 10:23 a.m., and that the cause of the blaze is presently unknown.
News reports say five Hawaii County Fire Department companies and two volunteer companies are fighting the fire. Reports say two helicopters are assisting with water drops.
The National Weather Service has placed the area – along with leeward areas of all Hawaii islands – under a red flag warning, meaning that the dry conditions mixed with strong and gusty tradewinds create critical potential for such wildfires.
The picture seen here was taken by the Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, and presented online through their twitter page (twitter.com/PuukoholaNP). It looks north from the heiau site, towards Kawaihae. The fire can be seen in the distance behind the harbor.