Police seek leads in series of suspicious fires


The Hawaii County Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying anyone who may have information about the cause of a half dozen suspicious fires during the past two weeks.

The fires were located south of Puuanahulu, along Mamalahoa Highway, also known as Highway 190, in areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (new Saddle Road) in South Kohala and mile marker 24 in North Kona.

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.