Too close for comfort: Lava closes in on PGV power plant; Civil Defense prepares for possibility of gas release

Courtesy of Volcano Helicopters via U.S. Geological Survey This aerial view, looking toward the southwest, shows the eruption at fissure 22 and lava channels flowing southward during an early morning overflight Monday. The Puna Geothermal Venture property can be seen at the right.
HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald Lava flows into the ocean Monday near MacKenzie State Recreation Area on the southeast coast of lower Puna. Special thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters.

HILO — As lava breached the southern boundary of Puna Geothermal Venture on Monday, the head of a task force created to mitigate potential hazards at the power plant said efforts were underway to neutralize the last “active” well on the property.