Saturday | August 29, 2015
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Firefighters work to extinguish Kona fire

Cloud cover and light rain Saturday helped firefighters extinguish a brush fire that burned about 8 acres in Kailua-Kona.

“It’s keeping the hot stuff from really heating up and causing more flareups,” said Hawaii Fire Department West Hawaii Battalion Chief Reuben Chun. “On the downside we won’t really know where all of the hot spots are right away, so, the guys are doing progressive wet downs of the area.”

The fire, which broke out around noon Friday in vacant land makai of Hualalai Elderly Housing, is under control and about 90 percent contained, said Chun. About a dozen firefighters spent Saturday dousing hot spots and flare-ups. A Hawaii County helicopter performed water drops and observations during the morning hours.

Winds were also relatively calm most of the day helped keep the fire from spreading, he said. A bulldozer was working to complete a solid perimeter accessible to both crews and vehicles.

“It looks pretty good, and we’re working on containment,” he said. Chun anticipates, if all goes well, the fire could be declared out today.

Chun said firefighters would remain at the scene throughout the night. Motorists are advised to use caution today while crews continue their efforts.

The brush fire appears to have started in an area north of Kamaaina Hale and quickly burned through the vacant parcel of brush and kiawe trees, coming within 20 feet of the Hualalai Elderly Housing. Fanned by winds blowing from the south, the fire progressed north toward Hualalai Road but never crossed the two-lane road, which was closed for several hours Friday afternoon.

The blaze also forced some residents to evacuate to the complex’s parking lot, however, no mandatory evacuation was ordered. The residents were allowed to return to their units around 3 p.m. Friday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.