Lava lights brush fire

Lava from the June 27 flow moved into lighter vegetation and ignited a brush fire Saturday afternoon, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said.

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Lava from the June 27 flow moved into lighter vegetation and ignited a brush fire Saturday afternoon, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said.

The fire was in a remote area above Apaa Road, west of Highway 130. Officials said no structures or properties were threatened. The Fire Department and Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife were working to contain the fire and prevent threats to neighboring communities.

Officials said no evacuation was necessary yet, and that they would give residents adequate notice to safely evacuate, should it become necessary.

The next lava flow community update meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

The county’s Incident Command Center and Informational Resource Center at the Pahoa Community Center remains open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday next week.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the rate of flow had “slowed considerably” since Friday. The flow front had advanced no more than 50 yards between a flight at noon Friday and early Saturday morning.

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Civil Defense officials noted the flow front had widened, HVO’s Saturday morning Kilauea update said. The front Saturday morning was roughly 164 feet across.

“Daily fluctuations in flow advance rate like this are common for pahoehoe lava flows,” the HVO update said. “It is not yet clear if this reduction in advance rate is due to a drop in lava supply or simply the flow front filling a small local depression — in either case the advance rate could rise again in the coming days.”

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