KAILUA-KONA — Efforts to battle a brush fire near Waikoloa continue and are likely to go on through the weekend and into Monday, said West Hawaii Battalion Chief Michael Grace.
Grace said Saturday evening the fire scorched an estimated 15,000 acres, slightly larger than the 14,750-acre estimate provided Friday. The fire is also considered “about 70 percent contained,” Grace said, up from the 30-percent figure from Friday.
The Highway 190 fire was first ignited Wednesday off the roadway at mile marker 7 and grew rapidly throughout the week, fanned by high winds that allowed flames to jump the highway.
Grace said the winds were not as bad as they had been the last couple days, and said water drops continue and ground units are still doing some firefighting on active burns. There are also units, he said, that are able to go in off the road and address some “hot spots” that are actively burning.
Saturday morning, Hawaii County Civil Defense said Route 190 remained closed between Waikoloa Road and Kaiminani Drive. It is open exclusively to local traffic between Kaiminani Drive and Puu Lani Ranch.
Daniel K. Inouye Highway is closed between the Old Saddle Road junction and Route 190 junction.
Motorists traveling between Hilo and Kona should use Daniel K. Inouye Highway to the Old Saddle Road junction at the 43 mile marker to Route 190 and detour through Waikoloa to Queen Kaahumanu Highway.
Waimea through Kawaihae to Queen Kaahumanu Highway is open, and, for motorists going south, Route 11 remains open.