UPDATE – (6:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 11) – Per the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, “the brush fire that started yesterday in the Pohakuloa Training Area spread last night to an area 1 mile from Highway 190 and 3 miles from Pu’uanahulu. No structures are threatened and all roads are open at this time.”
(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Fire Department reports a large brush fire in the Pohakuloa Training Area that started on Wednesday is moving northwest this evening, as a Red Flag Warning for leeward areas of the Big Island has been extended into Thursday.
“No roads or residential areas are threatened” by the fire, Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reported at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening. “Fire units from PTA, State Forestry, National Park Service and Hawaii Fire Department are on scene for fire suppression.”
“Please drive with caution as heavy equipment and personnel are around Daniel K Inouye Highway and Highway 190,” the civil defense message stated.
Hawaiʻi County Councilman Tim Richards was keeping an eye on the situation, and confirmed that – as of Wednesday evening – the fire was located on the Kona side of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway between Pohakuloa Training Area and Puʻuanuhulu. He reported the blaze was not threatening the Waikoloa Community at the time.
On Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Honolulu extended the Red Flag Warning for the leeward areas of Hawaiʻi island through Thursday. A Red Flag Warning means that “critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly,” due to a combination of “strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures”, which can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Any fires that develop under these conditions will likely spread rapidly, forecasters warned.