NANAKULI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A challenging brush fire in Nanakuli is finally fully contained.
Firefighters said the blaze was especially difficult to bring under control: Winds whipped up the flames, setting brush afire across challenging and difficult to access terrain.
As of 9 a.m. Monday, some 500 acres of hillside had burned.
And fire officials remain on scene to make sure no hotspots reignite, and to try to determine how the brush fire started.
Firefighters responded to the fire in Nanakuli Valley about 3:50 a.m. Sunday.
Some 22 HFD units staffed with 53 personnel responded to the brush fire, which traveled over a ridge into Waianae Valley.
At the brush fire’s peak, the flames came within 100 feet of homes.
Officials opened a shelter for residents at Nanakuli High and Intermediate School, but that has since closed.
“I went over to Mokiawe Street to make sure all the neighbors were up and they knew. Most of them were already up,” state Rep. Stacelynn Eli said.
“We spent the morning — till about 6 a.m. — just watering down the back of their homes, trying to keep it safe,” Eli said. “HFD came through, asked everyone to evacuate, but obviously, no one wants to leave their home. They’re scared, they want to make sure they’re doing everything they can to save it.”
The fire blackened a clear line across the hillside of Nanakuli Valley just above Nanakuli High and Intermediate School.
The battle against the flames was also conducted from above ― with the county’s Air 1 and Air 2 helicopters.
Eli praised firefighters for their work.
“We’re very much on alert, but just very much grateful that none of the homes were taken, and people are, for the most part, safe,” she added.
This story will be updated.