UPDATED: Video by David Corrigan and Tim O Bryan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
The north end of Hawaiian Paradise Park was thrown into chaos today, when a fast moving brushfire threatened multiple homes.
The sprawling Puna subdivision was in a state of panic around 2 p.m. when a section of the native forest on Shipman lands burst into flames.
Residents credit the hard work of the Hawaii County Fire Department and Puna’s hardworking volunteer fire companies for saving their homes.
According to fire officials, approximately 70 acres were burned. The brush fire threatened approximately 8 structures, but there was no structural damage or losses. The fire was contained by a combination of HFD personnel, helicopter water drops, and fire breaks cut by a bulldozer operator.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
It was evident by the time this footage was filmed at 5:00 p.m. that a large swath of forest land had been charred from the end of Beach Road to a point several hundred yards mauka.
Many residents pitched in to help one another fight the blaze, offering tanks and even buckets of water, in order to help their neighbors save their homes.
Some residents even rejoiced when large boulders, placed at the private road that begins at the terminus of the paved Beach Drive, were moved to facilitate fire fighting. Getting water to the crews was also a challenge.
Puna councilman Fred Blas, who left a Puna CDP meeting when he heard about the brushfire, gave thanks to the volunteers and county workers who fought off the fire.