Molokai brush fire 70% to 80% contained - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Molokai brush fire 70% to 80% contained

Gen Iinuma Gen Iinuma

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MOLOKAI (KHNL) - The five-day old brush fire that has burned more than 8,000 acres on the Friendly Isle is now 70% to 80% contained.

Flames continue to threaten native plants and endangered species.

The fear is that the unburnt brush near residential areas in Kalamaula, Kaunakakai, and Kawela, could fuel the fire and ignite more flames.

The fire is still active in the Makakupaia area of the Molokai Forest Reserve, and the Onini Gulch.

At the forest reserve alone, 400 acres have burned.

The fire also scorched 100 acres of the Nature Conservancy area.

The latest challenge for firefighters is the a red flag warning the National Weather Service issued on Wednesday.

"For us, it means that humidity is much lower than usual and that we need to be mindful that the conditions will exacerbates what we're doing and it'll increase the potential for a fire hazard," said Gen Iinuma of Maui County Civil Defense.

Two chinook helicopters from the National Guard continued to conduct aerial water drops.

They're using Onealii Park as a landing zone. About 60 firefighters were on scene. The Lahaina station today sent a fresh crew.

Maui County Civil Defense says crews will likely be out in full force, battling the brush fire for at least several more days.

They'll monitor the parched areas for weeks after that to make sure the fire doesn't rekindle.

Firefighters remind Molokai residents to stay out of the burn area, which has unsafe pockets of smoldering and unstable land.

Property owners are reminded to clear unwanted brush to minimize the potential of flare-ups.

Iinuma says crews will likely be out in full force, battling the brush fire for at least several more days.

They'll monitor the parched areas for weeks after that to make sure the fire doesn't rekindle.

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