Big Island park reopens after fire forces closure

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The Mauna Kea State Recreation Area has reopened after a wildland fire forced the park's closure on the Big Island last month.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says the recreation area opened Monday, although visitors were asked to stay within the park and avoid burnt areas on the perimeter.

The recreation area was closed when the fire began Aug. 22 in the neighboring Pohakuloa Training Area and spread into the Mauna Kea forest reserve and the edge of the park.

Firefighters fought the blaze for 10 days before crews contained it at 1,387 acres -- or more than 2.1 square miles.

State officials estimate the cost of fighting the fire at more than $500,000.

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