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Kona brush fire update Wednesday afternoon

Message from Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira.

Good afternoon this Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira with a brush fire update for Wednesday January 6, 2010 at 400PM.

The Hawaii Fire Department continues to battle the large brush fire in the mauka Kealakekua area of Kona. The fire is situated on Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estates Trust Properties at the approximately 4000 foot elevation. The fire is burning in heavy brush under a forest canopy. The terrain is rugged and greatly limits any vehicle or equipment access making fire fighting that more difficult. The fire area is in excess of 1000 acres and the fire had jumped the fire break early Monday morning. That jump had resulted in more active burning and is contributing to the increase in smoke and heavier smoke conditions over the past two days.

Currently efforts have been made to regain the containment and as of this afternoon the fire break has been reestablished and the fire perimeter secured. Resources on scene include five bull dozers, three helicopters, a 4000 gallon water tanker, brush truck, and numerous fire department, ranch, and land owner personnel.

The fire is not posing a threat to property and every effort is being made to bring it under control and put it out. The heavy smoke conditions are being monitored by the department of health which has a monitoring site at the Konawaena School. Again the Hawaii Fire Department continues to battle the Kealakekua mauka brush fire. Resources are on scene and efforts are being made to establish control and extinguish the fire as soon as possible.

We recognize the impact this fire is having on our community and are making efforts to extinguish the fire.

Thank you.

The county Civil Defense Agency issued this update 3 p.m. Wednesday:

This is the Brushfire update for Wednesday Jan. 6. The Hawaii Fire Department is actively fighting a brush fire seven miles above the Kealakekua Ranch Center in a remote location at the 4,000 foot elevation. Currently, 800 acres are reported burned. Smoke from the fire can be seen from Waimea to South Kona and has been affecting neighborhoods in North and South Kona. It is unknown at this time when these fires will be extinguished. Kona residents should be prepared for smoke from this fire in the evening through mid morning. Department of Health recommendations include: Stay indoors and use an air-conditioner if available. Limit physical exertion. Drink plenty of fluids. If you take medications, make sure you have them on hand. Do not smoke. If you are feeling sever health effects from the smoke, consider leaving the area. Again the Hawaii Fire Department is actively fighting a brush fire seven miles above the Kealakekua Ranch Center at the 4000 elevation. It is unknown at this time when the fire will be extinguished. Kona residents should remain prepared for smoke in their neighborhoods during the evening to mid morning hours. Thank you and have a safe day.

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