(BIVN) – The brush fire located mauka of Highway 190 and north of Old Saddle Road has consumed over 36,000 acres, as of Sunday morning, and at least one residential home has been destroyed in Pu’ukapu.
The Hawaiʻi Fire Department reports County, State and Federal fire crews continue to fight the blaze, as increasing winds are expected to make fire suppression efforts difficult. Firefighters are said to be actively back burning and creating fire breaks in the area.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory, which will be in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday evening. Northeast winds of 15 to 30 mph with localized gusts over 50 mph are expected.
A Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense message says the communities of Puʻukapu Hawaiian Homesteads and Waikiʻi Ranch are under mandatory evacuation orders. On Saturday, a shelter was made available to displaced residents at the Waimea District Park.
Highway 190 from Waimea Airport to the Waikoloa Road Junction and the Old Saddle Road are closed. “Please use alternate routes,” civil defense said. “Additional roadways may be impacted and close without notice.”
“Communities in Waikoloa Village South Kohala are requested to be on the alert for changing wind conditions, review your evacuation plans and be prepared to evacuate if fire threat or smoke impacts your area,” the civil defense message stated. “You are requested to take this time to make fire prevention measures to your property such as removing exposed fuels of dry vegetation, trash and other items that could catch fire.”