UPDATE – (8 p.m. on Thursday, September 29)
- The Hawaiʻi Fire Department reports that the brush fire threat in Oʻokala “has significantly decreased to now allow residents that evacuated to return home and for Old Mamalahoa Highway to be reopened at this time.”
- Officials say fire personnel will remain on scene through the night, working the fire and monitoring conditions.
- Paʻauilo Gym will stay open until tomorrow morning, should an Evacuation Shelter be needed, the County says.
UPDATE – (4:11 p.m. on Thursday, September 29)
- The County of Hawaiʻi provided some additional information on the Oʻokala brush fire and evacuation, including a photo taken by helicopter over the blaze.
From the County news release:
The County of Hawaiʻi has evacuated households West of ʻOʻokala graveyard road as a brushfire draws near. The size of the fire is approximated at roughly 10 acres, with winds blowing West toward Paʻauilo. Hawaiʻi Fire Department is on scene and working to control the fire. An emergency shelter has been opened at the Paʻauilo Gymnasium. Old Mammalahoa highway is also closed at this time.
The Hawaiʻi Fire Department and Civil Defense Administration will update the public as the situation progresses.
UPDATE – (3:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 29)
- Due to a brush fire, and as a precaution, the Hawaiʻi Fire Department called for the evacuation of Oʻokala on Thursday afternoon.
- Paʻauilo Gym was opened as an Evacuation Shelter site.
- Motorists were asked to avoid the area as Police and Fire crews were on scene actively working the brush fire and evacuating residents.
- An alert message was issued about an hour before the evacuation, reporting the brush fire near the 30 Mile Marker, makai of Old Mamalahoa Highway near Oʻokala, had burned approximately 10 acres, although no structures were threatened at that time.
We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.