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Hikers rescued from hike to Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater are cited for trespass

The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve trailhead at the end of Captain's Drive/Ala Kapena Drive in Glenwood, Hawaii. Officially the trail is closed but hikers and hunters often enter the area. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo.

The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve trailhead at the end of Captain’s Drive/Ala Kapena Drive in Glenwood, Hawaii. Officially the trail is closed but hikers and hunters often enter the area. Hawaii 24/7 File Photo.

MEDIA RELEASE

Two hikers who got lost in the state Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve (NAR) overnight (Jan 30) while returning from a hike to Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater were cited by Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers. They got lost while hiking and were rescued by the Hawaii County Fire Department after spending the night in the NAR.

A 23 year old man from Maryland and a 24 year old man from Pahoa were contacted by DLNR officers and issued citations for entering into a closed area. They must now appear in Hilo District Court. The violations are misdemeanor offenses punishable by a fine and or one year in prison.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the Kahauale‘a Natural Area in July 2007, due to hazardous and unsafe conditions caused by volcanic activity. The closure was extended to July 2015 and may be continued as long as unsafe conditions persist.

“Entering into closed areas is a serious offense that unnecessarily risks lives and places rescuers in jeopardy,” said Carty S. Chang, Interim DLNR Chairperson. “DLNR will enforce these closures and take enforcement action on violators,” Chang added.

After receiving the citations, the two hikers were released.

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