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Fire threat prompts call for reinforcements and restrictions

In August 2008, rangers extinguish a fire burning through ‘ōhi‘a forest at Nāmakanipaio Campground. The fire was started by visitors who failed to completely extinguish and properly dispose of their campfire’s smoldering embers. Photo by G. Brad Lewis


Due to the prolonged dry spell and recent fire activity on the Island of Hawaii, the National Park Service (NPS) requested and received supplemental funding to augment their initial-attack firefighting operation.

This week, the Whiskeytown Fire Use Module arrived from northern California to assist on both sides of the island. The crew of five firefighters will among other tasks staff engines and help suppress wildfires.

The National Park Service in Hawaii continues to coordinate and cooperate in wildland fire prevention and suppression efforts with other federal, state, and county agencies.

Said NPS Fire Management Officer Joe Molhoek, “On behalf of the Big Island Wildfire Coordinating Group, we caution residents to be extra careful with fire and other ignition sources, including welders and gasoline powered equipment.”

In addition, due to the escalating fire danger at Hawai‘i Volcanoes the following fire restrictions are in effect throughout the park:

  • All campfires are prohibited.
  • All barbeques are prohibited including at Kīpukapuaulu picnic area, Nāmakanipaio and Kulanaokuaiki campgrounds, and the park’s Kahuku unit.

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