Residents allowed to return to homes as firefighters continue to battle fire in Kailua-Kona

  • An emergency shelter has opened in Kailua-Kona following the evacuation of at least two subdivisions and a business area due to a brush fire that continues to burn Wednesday afternoon.

  • Two Kailua-Kona subdivisions have been ordered to evacuate as firefighters battle a brush fire south of Onioni Street. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Update: Residents are being allowed to return to their homes and all highways have reopened as firefighters continue working to extinguish the fire.

Update: An emergency shelter has opened in Kailua-Kona following the evacuation of at least two subdivisions and a business area due to a brush fire that continues to burn Wednesday afternoon.

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The Red Cross shelter is located at the Kona Community Aquatic Center. Those coming to the shelter are advised to bring essentials such as medicine, important documentation and personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and sanitizer.

“Red Cross caseworkers will work with those affected to provide referrals, guidance or additional resources as needed to help with the recovery process,” the organization said.

As of 2:30 p.m., the fire was not contained and estimated at about 25 acres to 30 acres with the burn area stretching mauka from Kuakini Highway, south of Onioni Street, and across Queen Kaahumanu Highway to Hualalai Road, according to the Hawaii Fire Department.

No structures had been lost, though flames came close to several structures in the evacuated subdivisions of Aloha Kona and Kona Hillcrest. Cattle also had to be moved from the area.

Queen Kaahumanu and Kuakini highways remain closed.

Original story:

Two Kailua-Kona subdivisions have been ordered to evacuate as firefighters battle a brush fire south of Onioni Street.

The Kona Hillcrest and Aloha Kona subdivisions were ordered to evacuate about 12:50 p.m. due to the fire, which broke out shortly before noon in vacant land south of Onioni Street and between Kuakini Highway and Queen Kaahumanu Highway.

Kuakini Highway is currently closed at its intersection at Walua Road and Onioni Street. Queen Kaahumanu Highway is also closed.

Chopper 1 is currently on scene assisting county and volunteer firefighters with water drops to douse the flames.

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