UPDATE – (1:30 a.m.) – Big Island Video News stopped by the Hawaii County Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo after 8 p.m. on Saturday night, where we spoke to Glen Honda, the Assistant Fire Chief Support Services. The interview is featured in the video above.
In their last update issued after 9 p.m., Hawaii County Civil Defense reports that the brush fire near the Hulikoa Drive area of Kona continues to burn and has not yet been contained or brought under control. The fire, located between Kaiminani and Hulikoa Drives, has subsided and conditions have improved. However, officials say occasional flare ups and changes in smoke conditions will continue throughout the night. “With residents returning to their homes the evacuation center at the West Hawaii Civic Center has been closed,” stated the alert. “Firefighting crews will remain on scene through the night and motorists are advised to exercise caution and to be on the lookout for emergency vehicles and personnel working along the roadsides.”
NORTH KONA, Hawaii – A brush fire off Hulikoa Drive in Kona loomed behind buildings on Saturday afternoon, as fire crews worked feverishly to keep the flames at bay.
No structures or properties were threatened at the time of a 2 p.m. alert issued by Hawaii County Civil Defense. “Although there is no immediate threat to area residents,” Civil Defense reported, “an evacuation center has been opened for the residents of the Seascape Condominiums and the Lokahi Apartments that may wish to leave the area due to the smoke and fire conditions. The evacuation center is located at the West Hawaii Civic Center on Kealakehe Park Way.”
On Hulikoa Drive, helicopters dropped water on the fire as it drew closer to the businesses in the Kohanaiki Business Park. Local news reports are saying 400 acres have been burned between Hulikoa and Kaiminani Drive.