Military aircraft alert for Hawaii Island

The public is advised that depending on weather, jet engine and aircraft noise may increase over Pohakuloa Training Area and West Hawaii from July 8 through Aug. 2 as military aircraft participate in the 2024 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.


During this period, intermittent daily flights could occur from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fixed-wing aircraft flights will vary between fighters, heavy transport and jets, according to a statement from the U.S. Army.

RIMPAC is a biennial, international maritime exercise that sustains cooperative relationships critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes.

This year’s exercise includes humanitarian aid and disaster relief training, critical to ensuring military units and service members are ready to accomplish their mission and return home safely, the Army said.

To report concerns related to noise or training, contact the new U.S. Army Hawaii’s Community Concern Line at (808) 787-1529 or Concerns are responded to during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 4 p.m.

Firefighters battle two Puna house fires

County firefighters battled a pair of structure fires in Puna earlier this week.

On Monday evening, eight units answered an 8:41 p.m. alarm in response to a house fire at 15-0844 Kahakai Blvd. in Pahoa, with the first unit arriving on scene seven minutes later.

Arriving firefighters were met with heavy flames emanating from the eaves and windows of the 40-foot by 25-foot single-story house.

The fire was reported extinguished at 9:30 p.m.

According to the Hawaii Fire Department, the home was unoccupied, but there was evidence of squatter activity.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $100,00, while an estimated $150,000 of property value was saved by firefighters.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

At 5:25 p.m. Tuesday evening, six units responded to a house fire at 15-1776 29th Ave. in Hawaiian Paradise Park, with the first unit arriving on scene four minutes later.

Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the left side of the 2,302-square-foot structure and the garage was entirely in flames.

Both occupants of the home were accounted for. One suffered minor injuries but refused treatment or transport.

The fire was extinguished at 6:15 p.m.

There was minimal damage to the living quarters of the home.

The blaze caused an estimated $50,000 in damage, with firefighters saving about $300,000 in property value.

No cause for the fire was provided by HFD.

Fireworks: Permits, rules and regulations

Permits for firecrackers are available today until 8 p.m., according to Hawaii County.

Permits and firecrackers may be purchased only at the following locations:

— TNT Tent at the Safeway parking lot, 381 E. Makaala Street in Hilo;

— TNT Tent at the Walmart parking lot, 75-1015 Henry Street in Kona.

Each permit costs $25 and will enable the holder to purchase up to 5,000 individual firecrackers. Permits will be issued to those 18 years of age or older and are nontransferable and nonrefundable.

Permits are not required for novelties and paperless firecrackers.

Firecrackers (with a valid permit) and consumer fireworks are only allowed to be set off between 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

The public is advised that it is unlawful to buy, sell, possess or set off any aerial luminous device, such as Sky Lanterns and Hawaii Lanterns. Any person in possession of an aerial luminous device who would like to dispose of it with amnesty can contact Fireworks Auditor Kamuela Moraes at (808) 938-1253.

It also is illegal to remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any fireworks; to throw fireworks from a vehicle; to set off any fireworks outside the allowed period or within 1,000 feet of any hospital, nursing home, home for the elderly, animal hospital or at any school building or property; on any public highway, street or sidewalk; in any public park, or within 1,000 feet of a church during the periods when services are held.

The Hawaii Fire Department will be conducting a collection of unused and unwanted fireworks following the holiday. Anyone interested in disposing of fireworks should call Moraes for further information regarding the pickup and dropoff locations. Please do not drop off fireworks at local fire stations.

Police arrest 17 for DUI

During the week of June 24-30, Hawaii Island police arrested 17 motorists for DUI.

Five of the drivers were involved in a traffic accident.

The numbers of arrests by district were: Puna and Hilo, six each; Kona, five.

So far this year, there have been 484 DUI arrests compared to 493 during the same period last year, a decrease of 1.8%.

So far this year, there have been 498 major traffic crashes, compared to 429 during the same time last year, an increase of 16.1%.

To date, there have been 20 official traffic fatalities (one pedestrian death was reclassified as a suicide), compared to 10 fatalities at the same time last year, an increase of 100%.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue islandwide, police said.

Police cracking down on underage drinking

With student summer break in full swing, multiple units of Hawaii Police Department — including the Hilo Community Policing Section, Area I Juvenile Aid Section and South Hilo Patrol District — are stepping up enforcement of underage drinking and curfew and public park hours violations.

“These measures aim to ensure the safety of everyone utilizing the beach and parks during the student summer break and to provide a secure environment for all,” said Lt. William Derr, of the Hilo Community Policing Section.

Enforcement teams will be patrolling areas on a regular basis and will cite anyone who violates liquor laws, such as underage drinking and drinking illegally in public, police said.

In the first six months of 2024, Hawaii Island police have arrested five people for underage drinking, compared to 13 underage drinking arrests in 2023 and 16 arrests in 2022.

For more information, please contact the Hilo Community Policing Section at (808) 961-2350.