Brush fire burns 2 acres in North Kona


Firefighters on Friday morning quickly extinguished a brush fire reported in the area of mile markers 15 and 16 off Mamalahoa Highway, also known as Highway 190, in North Kona.

The fire, located on the mauka side of the highway, consumed about 2 acres before firefighters were able to get it under control by 8:30 a.m., according to the Hawaii County Fire Department. State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife crews remain on the scene.

The fire is the latest in a series of suspicious fires reported between mile markers 14 and 24 along the highway during the past two weeks.

At 3:33 p.m. Nov. 25, police and Hawaii County Fire Department firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of the highway, near mile marker 14, that burned an estimated 500 acres.

The next day, at 3:54 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a reported brush fire on the mauka side of the highway, near the mile marker 16. The fire burned approximately 150 acres. As personnel were working to extinguish that fire, another one was reported in the area of mile mile marker 23 on the highway. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 1/4 acre.

At 5:50 a.m. Nov. 28, police and firefighters responded to another reported brush fire on the mauka side of the highway, near mile marker 16. Emergency personnel quickly extinguished the blaze, which burned an undetermined amount of land.

On Monday, at 4:23 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the makai side of the highway near mile marker 24. The blaze burned approximately 2,000 square feet of vacant land.

At 6:28 a.m. Wednesday, police and firefighters responded to a report of another brush fire on the mauka side of the highway, near mile marker 17. The fire scorched approximately 4,800 square feet of vacant land.

No structures have been damaged nor were any in close proximity to any of the fires, according to police. The total extent of the burned property has yet to be determined.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigations Section, along with Hawaii County Fire Department inspectors, have deemed the fires as suspicious in nature and continue to investigate their cause.

Police are asking anyone who witnesses suspicious activity in the area to immediately call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Anyone with any information about the cause of the fires should contact Detective Levon Stevens, at 326-4646, ext. 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stopper at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.