Fires continue to burn in South Kohala

A pair of fires ignited Sunday afternoon by lightning had consumed about 1,500 acres in South Kohala as of Monday afternoon. (U.S. Army courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

A pair of fires ignited Sunday afternoon by lightning have consumed about 1,500 acres in South Kohala.

Firefighters from Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii County, and volunteers, along with bulldozer operators and military helicopter crews from Oahu, worked the fires Monday within the U.S. Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area.

The first fire by Hawaii Belt Road (Highway 190) was approximately 90% contained Monday afternoon while the larger fire, located in the interior hills of the Keamuku Maneuver Area, was approximately 70% contained, according to the Army. The larger fire was approximately one mile from Waikii Ranch.

As of press-time Monday, there was no threat to any community or structures. There were also no road closures.

“We truly appreciate the tremendous team effort in fighting this fire – hunters and local residents calling emergency services on Sunday when they saw the lightning strikes and the fire; the Army flight helicopter crews from Oahu; and the firefighters and dozer operators from PTA, County, Volunteers, and Department of Forestry and Wildlife for working throughout the day and night to try and keep the fires contained,” said PTA Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin. “We truly are a team of teams.”

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