Kauai firefighters respond to three brush fires in Waimea


Firefighters continued to work through the night to manage a large brush fire that broke out near Waimea Canyon Road Monday afternoon.

The fire has moved west overnight, but continues to remain up mauka. No homes or structures are threatened.

Helicopters will be running water drops to the area throughout the day and additional DOFAW personnel will arrive from the neighbor islands as firefighting efforts continue.

Firefighters battled multiple brush fires in Waimea Monday.

The first occurred shortly before 11 a.m. and was deemed under control by 1:30 p.m. The blaze broke out along the Nonopahu Ridge, just east of Waimea River, on a property owned by Gay & Robinson. Officials believe that the fire was ignited by sparks from a pickup truck that was being operated by an employee.

Air 1, Rescue 3 and crews from the Hanapēpē and Waimea fire stations responded. Jack Harter provided a second helicopter to assist with water drops to the area, and the landowner provided water tankers and other heavy equipment to help gain control of the blaze. Personnel from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife were also dispatched.

Roughly 60 acres were scorched in the first fire.

Firefighters also responded to two separate, unrelated brush fires also in the Waimea area. At approximately 2:45 p.m., a blaze broke out along the coastline near Russian Fort. Crews were able to get the fire under control.

A third brush fire broke out shortly after 3 p.m. near the first water tank along Waimea Canyon Drive, prompting multiple units to respond. Officials say strong winds made it difficult for firefighters to get the blaze under control.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife has taken over as incident commander because the fire is on state forestry lands above Waimea Heights. The fire has spread, but no homes or structures are threatened at this time.

Waimea Canyon Drive remains closed.

The cause of the fires has not been determined.

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