(BIVN) – A brush fire continues to burn in the Paʻauilo area of Hāmākua, with no structures or infrastructure threatened as of noon on Thursday.
UPDATE – (2:45 p.m.) – Although the County reported that no infrastructure is threatened, it has been reported that Hawaiian Electric customers were without power until 10 a.m. this morning.
One lane of Highway 19 near mile marker 37 was closed earlier this morning. Both lanes have since reopened.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
Hawaiʻi Fire Department crews are working to contain a brushfire that has inundated roughly 150 acres above the Paʻauilo Transfer Station in North Hāmākua through the evening. The fire, consisting of one large blaze and several smaller burn areas, began yesterday, May , in the late afternoon and continues to burn slowly. Hawaiʻi Fire has confirmed that roughly 70% of the fire has been contained, and no structures or infrastructure are threatened. There are also no road closures, though Fire crews are working along Highway 19 near the 37 mile-marker. No injuries have occurred or been reported as a result of the fire. Additionally, Hawaiian Electric has confirmed that power has been restored to the surrounding area.
Hawaiʻi County officials also reported the Pa‘auilo Recycling and Transfer Station was closed due to the brush fire. “An update will be given if the transfer station is able to reopen later today,” officials said.
UPDATE – (2:45 p.m.) – Paʻauilo Mauka Kalopa Community Association president Joe Clarkson, in an email updating his community on the fire, took issue with the County statement that infrastructure was not threatened, noting that customers throughout the Paʻauilo Mauka area lost power for about 18 hours. Clarkson also pointed out that residents were given “no safety messaging from any government agency, including fire, police, and civil defense,” during the early stages of the fire.
“Residents in the area should remain alert and pay attention to safety messaging for updated information relating to the brushfire,” the County said.