State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Kaua‘i County firefighters working together to fight the Hikimoe Ridge fire continue to make steady progress. Size of the burned area has been held at 652 acres and over the weekend went up to 75% contained. Fire cause has not been determined.
Since the end of last week and over the weekend, favorable weather (increased humidity and calmer winds) has given crews the opportunity to gain an upper hand on suppression effort, aided by additional equipment.
As a safety precaution a voluntary evacuation notice is still in effect for cabins in the Pu‘u Ka Pele section of Waimea Canyon State Park until fire officials deem fire conditions are no longer a threat to cabin users and structures.
“We understand that people may want to come to their cabins for the July 4 holiday. Anyone that does so must be prepared to quickly evacuate in the event the fire could ramp up again,” said William J. Aila, DLNR chairperson.
“We urge extreme caution or even avoiding use of fireworks and campfires in any forested or wilderness area,” he said.
Hunting units A and J in the Pu‘u Ka Pele forest reserve remain closed. Notices of the fire closure are posted at the Koke‘e and Pu‘u ‘Opae Hunter Checking Stations.
DLNR fire crews from Kaua‘i, Maui, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i are still working on mop-up of hot spots and to contain the fire perimeter, with the help of helicopter water drops, bulldozers, and water tenders. Current estimated state cost of fire suppression is approximately $375,000.
Pu‘u Lua Reservoir and trout fishing remained closed for public safety, until further notice. The gate is closed at the 12 mile marker on Highway 550.
Manpower and equipment stats over the weekend:
Friday June 29: Total of 85 people including: 68 DLNR personnel on the fire line, providing logistical support, 3 DOCARE enforcement officers in addition to contracted support from 2 bulldozers, 2 water tenders, and 4 helicopters; and 12 Kaua‘i Fire Department (KFD) firefighters, the County’s Air One helicopter that assisted in the afternoon with water drops, 2 County Public Works personnel with a water tender, and a communications van that provided critical communications support for crews and helicopters in this remote location.
Saturday June 30: Total 60 personnel involved, consisting of 48 DOFAW personnel (this number includes an 11-member Big Island DOFAW team that arrived this afternoon), 4 Kauai Fire Department personnel with 1 engine, 3 helicopters doing water drops, 3 water tenders and 3 bulldozers. Day’s focus was on mopping up using all resources.
Sunday July 1: Total approx. 56 personnel including 48 DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife crew and 14 Kauai Fire Department crew on the fire line. Equipment consists of 2 dozers, 2 helicopters doing water drops, 2 water tenders. Day’s focus was on mopping up using all resources
The fire is burning in a eucalyptus tree plantation planted in the 1970s. Some of the trees are 85 to 120 feet tall. Weather conditions remain hot and dry with low humidity and strong easterly winds making fire behavior and direction of spread difficult to predict.
Email This News
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.