Lava from Kilauea is now less than a half-mile away from a Big Island subdivision.
During an overflight Wednesday afternoon, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists observed that the flow front had shifted toward the northeast, bringing it closer to Kaohe Homesteads.
Scientists said at that time, the flow was 0.4 miles away from the boundary between Kaohe Homesteads and the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.
“The way the flow is headed today, the location and current advance rate, it looks like it could go toward the center of Pahoa Village,” said Janet Babb, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. “But tomorrow is a new day and if the flow changes directions or stops or slows down, then it’s a new story tomorrow.”
“County crews began cutting a road on railroad Avenue which links communities of Hawaiian beaches with Paradise park. That’s an existing dirt road but the county crew has a bulldozer out there right now to improve that to make it more passable. I think today you need a4 wheel drive but we need to do better than that especially if the lava begins to threaten highway 130,” County of Hawaii Office of the Mayor Executive Director Kevin Dayton said.
Between Sept. 6 and 10, the flow front has advanced at approximately 400 meters (460 yards) per day.
The flow front is still in thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfs trees and other vegetation, but fires are not spreading away from the flow.
Small breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts have been very vigorous recently, but are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the adjacent forest.
In related news, a lava flow informational fair will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.
Representatives from public agencies, private companies, and community groups will be on hand to answer questions about transportation, moving, storage, insurance, finances, legal matters, health care, and more.
For more information on the fair, call Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.