Police search for arsonist in Waiawa fires

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

WAIAWA (KHNL) - Another day, another fire in Waiawa. Saturday's blaze is just one of 12 fires to flare up in the area. Too many for these fires to be blamed just on mother nature.

"There is some evidence that some of these fires are intentionally set," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

As fire crews worked to control the flames, smoke from this fire poured over the H2 freeway.

Causing lane closures, and slow downs for drivers. This area had already burned Friday, so Saturday crews looked for clues to the cause of the latest flare up.

Fire investigators are also teaming up with Honolulu Police to set up an arson task force, with a mission to stop the firestarters.

"We have our collective heads put together to find the person that is illegally setting fires," said Kenneth Silva, the Chief of the Honolulu Fire Department.

These fires have been more than just an inconvenience for drivers, they have also been a danger to communities. Flames have burned near homes, and some are worried, the work of an arsonist could get out of hand. In these dry conditions, this criminal act could turn deadly.

"Should those homes catch on fire or people get hurt or killed, you would face severe felony charges," said Acting Police Chief, Paul Putzulu.

While emergency crews are busy battling the fires, the Honolulu leaders are asking for help. Wanting everyone to watch out for any suspicious activity in the area.

"We're here to ask the public to step up be our eyes and ears out there," said Hannemann.

Before any other Oahu community get burned by an uncaring arsonist.

"To do something like this, it is very selfish. They don't care about our community at large and our first responders. They need to stop this behavior now," added Hannemann.

To help catch this arsonist, there is a thousand dollar reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of this criminal.