Mop-up operations contained Friday to extinguish the Big Island’s largest wildland fire in history.
The fire, which broke out July 30 and torched more than 40,000 acres, was deemed fully contained Friday morning though firefighters continued to douse hotspots and flare-ups within the burn area that stretches from Mana Road to Puukapu in Waimea to Waikii Ranch and down toward Waikoloa Village.
The fire, which was fanned by strong winds, consumed two homes in the Department of Hawaiian Homelands Puukapu Subdivision in Waimea overnight Saturday into Sunday. It also forced an hours-long evacuation of thousands of residents and visitors lodging in Waikoloa Village Sunday afternoon after flames crossed Highway 190, also known as Mamalahoa Highway.
According to Hawaii County, 140 firefighters, 70 National Guardsman, 52 fire apparatus, nine helicopters, 27 bulldozers and 10 private companies took part in battling the fire.