(ABOVE PHOTO) A USGS HVO webcam positioned near Kapoho looking northwest shows the advancing front of the June 27th lava flow burning vegetation and sending smoke aloft into the air. This photo, taken just before 3 p.m. shows a little more smoke than usual, likely due to a brushfire that has been started.
- The lava flow has started a brushfire in a remote area above Apa’a Road, mauka of Highway 130. Civil Defense said no houses or properties are threatened in an alert issued at 2:45 p.m.
- Hawaii County Fire Department and State Department of Forestry are working to contain the fire.
This is the first brushfire to ignite since the lava flow began its 11 mile journey from a vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō on June 27. The flow crossed over into lighter vegetation in the last day or so.
Meanwhile, the lava flow has slowed considerably, and the flow front has also widened. “Daily fluctuations in flow advance rate like this are common for pahoehoe lava flows,” wrote USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in a September 20 update. “It is not yet clear if this reduction in advance rate is due to a drop in lava supply or simply the flow front filling a small local depression – in either case the advance rate could rise again in the coming days.”