HAWAII ISLAND – As the threat to Hawaii from Hurricane Lester diminishes as the Category Two storm moves west northwest on a path north of the islands, state and federal officials are adjusting their closures.
Most areas previously closed within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park due to Hurricane Lester are now open.
Park rangers opened Chain of Craters Road, all backcountry campsites and trails, the coastal lava viewing area, and Mauna Loa Road under sunny skies Friday afternoon, much to the delight of visitors eager to explore the park during the long Labor Day weekend.
One exception: Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, remains closed this afternoon due to tree hazards, but should open Saturday.
The Kahuku Unit will be open on Saturday and Sunday, with no cancellations to any guided hikes or programs.
All State Parks will remain open for Labor Day weekend, unless any changes in storm behavior indicate a need for closure
Camping and overnight lodging facilities are now re-opened on Hawaii island, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced.
The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife says all forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves and Na Ala Hele hiking trails on Hawaii Island are reopened. DOFAW campgrounds will remain closed through the weekend. The Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Hunt for Labor Day weekend has been rescheduled for September 24-25, 2016. DLNR says for further information, contact the Kamuela DOFAW office at (808) 887-6063.
A High Surf Warning will be in effect this holiday weekend, so visitors to coastal areas within state and national parks are being reminded of the possible dangers.
“We urge all park visitors to maintain a safe distance from the shoreline, whether viewing lava at the Kamokuna ocean entry, hiking the Puna Coast Trail, or camping at any of the coastal campsites,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We are anticipating surf up to 25 feet tonight and possibly through the weekend,” he said.