Residents evacuated by Makakilo fire return home

Residents on Palehua Road return home

On Sunday, helicopters made their rounds in sky. One after another, after another. At one point, four helicopters were conducting air drops to battle the brush fire in Makakilo.

“If you can see, they make a circuit in about three minutes. The helicopter is back to scoop another 125 to 200 gallons of water and dropping it on the fire,” said Capt. David Jenkins of the Honolulu Fire Department.

Firefighters are concentrating on the active burns in the upper slope, which is a heavily forested area.

On Friday, nearly two dozen homes on Palehua Road were evacuated. But those residents received some good news on Sunday. HFD gave the all-clear at around noon and residents were allowed to return home.

“I got a briefing from the incident commander. He says that they are going back to their homes. They’re checking to see if the houses are safe. They can see that the houses are protected. There are still fire apparatuses there at their homes,” Capt. Jenkins said.

Fire crews will be on scene overnight and will respond if the fire flares up.

As for the flames on the lower slope, that’s been contained.

It’s a sign of relief for residents like Jamie Yokota. She says the smoke got really bad Saturday night.

“After 8 o’clock, was so smokey. I had to close all the windows, door, but I couldn’t sleep. So I have to lock one room and [downstairs], I sleep,” Yokota said.

HFD is making progress, the battle isn’t over yet.

“This is still an ongoing incident and we do feel some satisfaction that people’s homes are safe. We would like to commend everybody, especially DLNR, DOFAW, federal fire department, even HPD with their contribution with their helicopter,” Capt. Jenkins said.

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