UPDATE – (8 a.m.) – From the County of Hawai’i:
Hawaiʻi County officials are monitoring two active brushfires in North and South Kohala — one in the North Kohala District off Akoni Pule Highway (Highway 270) near Kohala Ranch and the other in the South Kohala District in Waimea. Fire personnel are on the scene, and smoke may be visible in these areas. As a result of the brushfires, Akoni Pule Highway (Highway 270) is closed between the 6 and 7 Mile Markers until further notice. Kohala Mountain Road was previously closed due to fallen trees but is now open.
Due to the proximity of the fires to various structures, Hisaoka Gym in Kapaʻau and the Waimea Community Center in Waimea have opened as evacuation shelters. A mandatory evacuation was called for in the Kohala Ranch area, and 2 residents have taken shelter at Hisaoka Gymnasium.
Power outages in the area may affect communication streams to the public. To receive timely and essential alerts, the County urges residents to sign up for Everbridge messages from Civil Defense. This service allows individuals to receive critical notifications directly through their preferred communication channels, enabling them to make well-informed decisions in real-time. To register for this service, please visit (this website).
The public is also encouraged to visit the official County of Hawaiʻi Hazard Map.
(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Fire Department reported Tuesday morning that two brush fires are burning in North Hawaiʻi.
One fire is in the North Kohala District, off of Akoni Pule Highway (Highway 270) near Kohala Ranch.
The other fire is in the South Kohala District in Waimea.
Due to the brush fires, the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense says:
- Akoni Pule Highway (Highway 270) is closed between the 6 and 7 Mile Markers until further notice.
- Kohala Mountain Road (Highway 250) is also closed due to fallen trees.
- Motorists, please avoid these area until roads can be reopened.
- Evacuation Shelters have been opened at Hisaoka Gym in Kapaʻau and the Waimea Community Center in Waimea.
A Red Flag Warning is in place for parts of Hawaiʻi island today, including Kohala.
“Very dry fuels combined with strong and gusty easterly winds and
low humidities will produce critical fire weather conditions through tonight,” the National Weather Service says.
A High Wind Warning is also in effect. East winds 30 to 45 mph with localized gusts to around 60 mph are possible.