Brush fire

On the dry (west) side of the island brush fires can be a problem. Just a few days ago, this fire started near the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway, east of Puako. The fire jumped the highway and traffic was stopped for a couple of hours. In the photo, the highway can be seen to the left of the heaviest smoke.

Shortly after this fire occurred, a second brush fire sprang up alongside Māmalahoa Highway, a few miles inland. This too caused the road to be closed for a while. Since these two roads are a major part of the belt highway, which circles the island, traffic chaos ensued.

While some brush fires are the result of lightning, carelessness, or accidents, these two fires were probably deliberately set. Over the past few years there has been a spate of such incidents and no one has been caught or charged with arson. Unfortunately, I suspect that record will not change for the two most recent fires.

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