Wildfire threatens Kailua homes & high school - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Wildfire threatens Kailua homes & high school

A wildfire burns on a slope near Akiohala Street A wildfire burns on a slope near Akiohala Street
Kim Adams Kim Adams
Terry Seelig Terry Seelig
David Mackenzie David Mackenzie
HFD fire fighters pack up HFD fire fighters pack up

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 50-acre wildfire in Kailua came close to homes and Kailua High School Monday.

The Honolulu Fire Department got calls from residents on Akiohala Street shortly before 12:30 p.m. People reported fast moving flames on a hill that separates the high school from Kailua town and Enchanted Lake.

"We come outside and I look at my husband and I'm like, ‘honey, the house is getting ready to be on fire. Grab the hose.' We were just freaking out," said Akiohala Street resident Kim Adams.

Evidence suggests the fire started at the end of Akiohala Street, perhaps as close as 30 feet to the home where Adams lives.

HFD sent crews from Kailua, Waimanalo, Olomana, and Kuakini. A total of about 70 firefighters fought flames on the ground. Two HFD helicopters provided water drops in places firefighters on the ground could not reach with their hoses.

"This area has a lot of steep overgrown terrain and limited water supply," said fire captain Terry Seelig.

Gusty tradewinds pushed the fire away from the homes in Enchanted Lake and toward the back of Kailua High School.

"When I just came up over here there was probably 40 foot flames headed right towards the Kailua High School Gym," said resident David Mackenzie.

Flames crept to within about 50 feet of buildings at the high school, but waiting firefighters extinguished the flames before they damaged any developed property.

By sundown a fire investigator was going door to door hoping to find someone who saw something that will help explain how the fire started.

At sundown, with the fire more than 80% contained, fire crews packed up and went back to their stations. They will return if there are flare-ups.

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