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Updated: Kealakekua fire update for Saturday (Jan 9)

UPDATED MEDIA RELEASE (1/9/10 6:44 p.m.)

Good afternoon, this is Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira of the Hawaii Fire Department with a brush fire update for Saturday January 9 at 4:00 p.m..

Firefighting efforts on the Kealakekua Mauka brush fire in Kona were continued last night and through today. With the improved access made possible on Wednesday firefighting resources are able to reach more of the active burning area and increase their efforts. The fire break and perimeter remains secure and firefighters are also extinguishing and mopping up flare-ups and hotspots.

The firefighting operations have been supported with resources from the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife, National Park Service, Department of Army Pohakuloa Fire Department, and personnel and resources from Bishop Estates Trust, the land owner, as well as neighboring ranch personnel. In addition support from various commercial businesses providing bull dozers and water tankers have also aided in the efforts.

The resources on scene today have included 4 brush trucks, 2 tankers, 2 gamma military off road fire vehicles, and 2 bull dozers.

Again, the firefighting efforts are continuing on the Kealakekua Mauka brush fire in Kona and will be maintained. The fire is contained and poses no threat at this time to any property.

I would like to once again thank the community for their patience and understanding with the difficulties we are having in extinguishing this fire as well as thank all of the agencies and organizations that have been assisting in the efforts.
Thank you.

FROM BRENDA FORD

I wanted to add that fire fighters from Pohakaloa Training Base are also assisting in fighting the fire. The multi-agency coalition is continuing to widen the perimeter which is containing the fire. There is no estimate when the fire will be completely out.

Brenda Ford
Neighborhood Watch Coordinator
Ka’awaloa Orchards

UPDATED MEDIA RELEASE (1/9/10 at 12:50 p.m.)

This is a Civil Defense message.

This is a brush fire update for Saturday January 9th at 1200.

The coalition of personnel from the Hawai’i Fire Department, State Forestry and Wildlife, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and ranch and landowner personnel continue to fight the brushfire in Kealakekua mauka.

The fire’s perimeter remains secure and crews continue extinguishing efforts. Difficult terrain is hampering efforts for a quick resolution to this fire, but multiple resources such as bulldozers, helicopters, and specialized brush fire fighting apparatus are being utilized. Smoke, unfortunately will be a persistent problem for Kona residents in the evening through mid morning hours until the fire is completely extinguished. Barring unforeseen circumstances, improved access to the fire area and additional resources should speed the resolution of this incident. Firefighters will be on scene 24/7 until the fire is extinguished.

The Department of Health continues it’s monitoring on air quality in Kona and nformation from the Department of Health on dealing with the smoke and poor air quality in general can be found County of Hawai’i web site, click on the Civil Defense Message link. www.hawaii-county.com/

Again, County, State, Federal and Private resources continue their efforts at the Kealakekua mauka fire. The fire is currently secure, but smoke unfortunately will be a persistent problem.

Thank you and have a safe day.

This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

MEDIA RELEASE (1/9/10 at 7:43 a.m.)

This is a Civil Defense Message.

This is a brushfire update for Saturday Morning January 9, 2010 at 700 oclock.

The Hawaii Fire Department, State Forestry and Wildlife, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and personnel from area ranches and landowners continue to fight the 1800 acre brushfire in Kealakekua mauka.

Todays efforts include the utilization bulldozers, helicopters, tankers, brush trucks and specialized off-road vehicles. The fire is contained and not spreading, but there is still active burning in difficult to reach areas.

Crews today will continue to work on extinguishing active burning, extinguishing hot spots and maintaining a secure perimeter. Crews will remain on scene on a 24/7 basis until the fire is no longer a threat.

Unfortunately, smoke effects are still being felt in Kona and the Department of Health continues to monitor the smoke in the Kona area.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense

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