Firefighters contain 100-acre brush fire in Kalaeloa fueled by strong winds

Crews have contained a 100-acre brush fire in Kalaeloa and will work through the night to extinguish it.

The call initially came in at 12:30 p.m. Monday from Saratoga Avenue and Boxer Street.

A total of 20 Honolulu Fire and seven Federal Fire department fire companies staffed with 75 personnel responded.

Smoke could be seen from miles away, and from the air. Star Keona snapped photos the fire from above as her flight landed in Honolulu.

Police shut down Saratoga Avenue in both directions between Boxer Street and Midway Road while crews worked on the fire. It was re-opened around 8:30 p.m.

Crews worked to safeguard businesses and structures in the area, as well as approximately 20 vehicles parked on the road.

“The refineries and businesses over there have been made aware and their own firefighting officers are on alert, and they have all their equipment ready to safeguard their refinery and all its equipment,” said HFD Capt. David Jenkins. “There are some businesses within the area that have been affected by the fire. The local businesses have self evacuated.”

No one was hurt, but some in the area were forced to wait for hours before returning to work.

Micah Dennison found himself sitting in traffic after finishing his shift.

“The whole place in Campbell is all smoked out. You can barely see the road,” he said. “I’m just sitting here waiting, trying to get back to a yard that’s about 40 feet away.”

Fire officials say strong winds played a factor.

“When we initially got here, the initial assessment was about an eighth of an acre, however the high winds did cause this fire to increase exponentially and greatly. We’re getting personnel and equipment in,” Jenkins said. “It’s grown approximately 100 acres in size, however it is contained by the surrounding roads and culverts and canals.”

There are reports of damages; however officials say they won’t be able to fully assess the damage until Tuesday morning. Nearby Kalaeloa Airport was not threatened.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The fire in Kalaeloa was just one of several incidents involving high winds crews responded to Monday. Additional calls came in for blown roofs, downed power lines, and downed trees.

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