Brush fire consumes 45 acres near PTA

  • A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has burned at least 45 acres, the U.S. Army said Tuesday evening. (PTA/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has burned at least 45 acres, the U.S. Army said Tuesday evening. (PTA/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has burned at least 45 acres, the U.S. Army said Tuesday evening. (PTA/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has burned at least 45 acres, the U.S. Army said Tuesday evening. (PTA/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — A brush fire that broke out Tuesday morning within Pohakuloa Training Area has burned at least 45 acres, the U.S. Army said Tuesday evening.

The fire, which started around 10 a.m. Tuesday in an area inaccessible to vehicles, is under investigation, said Mike Donnelly, PTA spokesman. No training was taking place in the area of the fire’s ignition in the northeastern corner of PTA, on the northern, or Maunakea, side of Daniel K. Inouye Highway, near mile marker 31.

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PTA and Hawaii County firefighters spent the day battling the blaze, relying heavily on helicopters to perform water drops on the flames. As of press time, the fire was burning state land and was flames were about a mile from the highway.

“We are leveraging our aviation assets and Bambi buckets to drop water from our dip tanks on PTA (built specifically for these situations,” Donnelly said via email. “We do not know how long it will take but are treating it with 24/7 operations.”

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Training is ongoing, he said, adding PTA is working closely with units from Marine Corps Base Kaneohe to ensure their training continues, and even possibly using some of their assets, such as fuel trucks and unmanned aerial systems, or drones, Donnelly said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said no road closures had been ordered, however, officials cautioned the highway could be closed without warning.

  1. Kaipo Wall February 6, 2019 10:45 am

    I am reminded of an incident some years ago where an arson perpetrator was caught in the act, setting fires just outside of PTA . Once arrested , he made a statement that he was trying to drive the U.S. military off the Big Island , and thereby remove a legitimate excuse for North Korea to launch and attack on the Big Island . Curiously , I never saw any outcome of this arrest , or any prosecution thereof in the local media . The case , even though it became a very serious fire , simply disappeared . So the question is , is this fire arson ? Please tell the public if there is an arsonist lose in the Saddle area . Much critical endangered species habitat is located there . The public can help if we know the facts and can be encouraged to remain super vigilant.


    1. midnight rambler February 6, 2019 9:39 pm

      I never heard that. The last major fire in this area, in 2010, was set by a mentally ill man who claimed he was trying to get rid of the devil.


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