(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources announced on Tuesday that the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve, closed late last year due to the eruption of Mauna Loa volcano, will reopen effective immediately.
The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, or DOFAW, also announced the immediate reopening of Unit A of the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Game Management Area South of Daniel K. Inouye Highway across from the Gil Kahele Recreation Area, also known as the “slice.”
The Mauna Loa last erupted in late November, early December 2022.
DOFAW asks that people “stay off the 2022 lava flow to protect themselves from hazardous conditions. These include, but are not limited to, hot spots with high temperatures, unstable footing, and sharp lava rocks.”
The current Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa is ADVISORY. In its most recent Mauna Loa update (March 2), the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote:
There is no active lava within Moku’āweoweo caldera nor along either rift zone, including at the November–December 2022 eruption site. Satellite imagery shows that the entire 2022 flow field is cooling and no longer active.
Earthquake rates remain low and there is no detectable volcanic tremor—a seismic signal associated with subsurface fluid movement. Deformation rates indicate ongoing inflation somewhat above background levels, but this is not uncommon following eruptions. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor the seismicity and deformation rates at Mauna Loa. We expect additional shallow seismicity and other signs of unrest to precede any future eruption, if one were to occur.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates are at background levels. Concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as fumarole temperatures, remain low and stable at Sulphur Cone on the upper Southwest Rift Zone.