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Update on Saddle Road brushfire, Monday (Aug 23)

Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Saddle Road remains closed as the military takes over the fire scene which has burned between 600-1,000 acres of land by late Monday morning.

The fire, which started Sunday (Aug 22) near the 33 mile marker, is burning in the Pohakuloa Training Area and county fire crews are working with the military on containing the blaze, said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

The blaze has closed Saddle Road between the 8-mile marker, above the top entrance of Kaumana subdivision, and the Route 190 intersection in Waimea.

Four helicopters, four bulldozers and federal and state fire crews are trying to contain the blaze, which is spreading to the northeast.

No structures are threatened. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

UPDATE 8/23/10 5:44 p.m.

Saddle Road is still closed to traffic. The fire is still not contained.

Satellite image taken at 12:30 p.m. HST Aug 23, 2010 | Image courtesy of NRL Monterey

Latest sequence of satellite images taken of the Big Island. The plumes of smoke from the brushfire can be seen in the center of the Big Island.

8 Responses to “Update on Saddle Road brushfire, Monday (Aug 23)”

  1. TOPPGUNN says:


  2. guest says:

    the brushfire was most definitely fed by munitions of some sort, unless an live-fire exercise was taking place simultaneously as they proceeded to close the road. i was there at the closure with about 20 or so other vehicles and there was indubitably explosions and sporadic gunshot noises which coincided with changes in smoke color, ranging to a distinct yellow @ one point in addition to thick black, gray and the normal smoke spectrum.

    just wanted people to know the truth. if the military is responding to control the fire i'd bet the farm they at LEAST contributed to its spread.

    • Kat says:

      I love how are a sound expert as well to be able to tell where the fire and training are pin pointed in one location

    • Army says:

      Hey "guest" I'm glad you know your stuff. Pick up and map and notice that the area the fire is in hasn't been used as a training area since the 50's. There wasn't even any large caliber training anywhere on the saddle on Sunday- oh, and by the way, the authorities caught the arsonist as he fled through the brush starting fires as he went. If you had stayed around and observed, you would also have noticed the smoke changes colors depending on what type of brush is burning.
      I've been out there for the past three days helping manage the military's water assets as we provide aid to federal, state and local agencies. We have pumped more than 40,000 gallons of water to aid in the fight, which is more than you can say you have done.
      I'll take your farm and give it to the heroic firefighters of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, National Park Service, National Forest Service, Hawaii Fire Department, PTA fire department and others who are going ahead on foot to put out the blaze started by some nutjob.

  3. someone says:

    or maybe thats just what the military is suppose to do…it is their training facility after all. get a life!! you should be happy that they are out there actually trying to contain this thing…what are you doing?? complaining abou it on here…as a wife of one of the soldiers out there…all i can say is that people like you disgrace me…

  4. Kainalu says:

    If anybody knew anything about fire fighting they would be understanding of what you can and can't do. Complaints come in the form of both knowledge and lack of knowledge. Trust me when i say that i have a lot of knowledge about both. fire and knowledge. Fire whether man made or made by nature is not something you want to take lightly. Certain federal areas are subject to sensitivity thus limiting the amount of damage inflicted in an area because of historical value. Add the fact that the area is contaminated with ammunitions and you put manpower at risk by putting them in these areas. Because we dont have the type of wildland fires that we see in the mainland we also don't have at this facility the personnel qualified to handle this. There are certain agencies that send their personnel to the mainland for training and work so that they can bring that knowledge here. Its very different to actually work in a wildland fire environment compared to learning about it in a classroom. Nothing prepares you for the real thing

  5. another someone says:

    I agree with you someone. My husband is out there as well. The Marines are coming in today to help contain the fire and they weren't anywhere to be found when it started . . . so guest should we blame the Marines for starting the fire now as well or can we accept that they are doing there job by trying to help out on the training center site?

    • worried someone says:

      I agree with Someone as well. My husband and their unit were out there near the location of the fire. and were asked to evac out. Its location was close enough to their camp ground and sleeping quarters. I am glad that the fire is now contained and possible out. I am also happy we have people and communities that ask for help when times and trails get hard. Not going around pointing fingers at one another like "guest" did.


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