HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (HawaiiNewsNow) - The active year at Kilauea volcano on the Big Island continues. Both the east and west sides of the crater have seen lava flows in recent days, and geologists are keeping watch over the volcano's unpredictability.
The one resident left in the Royal Gardens subdivision on the slopes of Kilauea knows the drill. When the pot boils over up top, get ready. Lava could be coming.
"It's in the park and adjacent state lands or near state lands but far from any structures or any communities," says Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Chief Ranger, Talmadge Magno.
The U.S. Geological Survey has been documenting increased activity since August. On the west side of the crater Wednesday morning, lava inflated and overflowed from pu'u o'o vent. Then, it stalled.
Lava also broke through pu'u o'o's upper east flank and a flow ran downslope in the direction of Royal Gardens. Right now, the only home there is not threatened, but if this eastern flow continues, it may pose a hazard in the coming days.
"We never try to guess what's going to happen next because Pele does what she wants, and it could stop tomorrow," says Ranger Adrian Boone. "But if it keeps up like this - the inflation was a big one - so that's a pretty good sign that there's something under there that wants to come out."
Kilauea has definitely been active this year. In January, lava bulldozed its way through a home on the outskirts of Kalapana Gardens - creating dramatic, stunning scenes for everyone, except, maybe, the homeowner.
This week, geologists have, again, taken more breathtaking pictures, including an aerial view of the crater. To the right of the lava lake, you make out what appears to be "The Scream" - that famous painting by artist Edvard Munch. Just one of the many wonders of Hawaii's unique volcano.
As geologists keep watch, you can too. Park rangers tell us Saturday is National Public Lands Day - which means it's a fee free weekend at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. They say visitors may be able to see the glow of lava at sunset.