Waikoloa Village ordered to evacuate as brush fire nears

Evacuations orders have been issued for Waikoloa Village.

The brushfire in South Kohala has consumed over 36,000 acres, forced evacuations and consume several structures as of Sunday morning.

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Hawaii Fire Department reported County, State and Federal fire crews, including four Black Hawk helicopters from Pohakuloa Training Area continue to fight the brush fire started mauka of Highway 190 and north of Old Saddle Road. The fire has consumed over 36,000 acres and several homes have been destroyed in Pu’u Kapu Hawaii Homelands Subdivision. The fire jumped Highway 190 and is heading in the direction of Waikoloa Village.

The Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at the Waimea District Park. According to Marty Moran, Hawaii County Red Cross Director, one family took shelter at the park Saturday night with two more individuals sleeping in their autos with their animals.

Moran said no items such as blankets or food can be accepted because of COVID protocols, however monetary donations can be made at www.redcross.org/local/hawaii/ways-to-donate.html

Highway 190 from Waimea Airport to the Waikoloa Road Junction and the Old Saddle Road are closed. Please use alternate routes. Additional roadways may be impacted and close without notice.

Winds, which have been clocked over 40 mph, are forecasted to increase throughout the day and make fire suppression efforts difficult. Communities in Waikoloa Village South Kohala are requested to be on the alert for changing wind conditions and be prepared to evacuate if fire threat or smoke impacts the areas. Civil Defense requests to take this time to make fire prevention measures to property in affected areas such as removing exposed fuels of dry vegetation, trash and other items that could catch fire.

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Moran said emergency shelters are being prepared for Waikoloa Village.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.