Kauai firefighters make progress in Kokee brush fire - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kauai firefighters make progress in Kokee brush fire

Courtesy: Shaela Shintani Courtesy: Shaela Shintani
Courtesy: Maia Guirao Courtesy: Maia Guirao
KOKEE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Kauai firefighters have started to contain a brush fire that has burned around 2,000 acres along the Pokii, Paua and Waiaka ridges in Kokee.

According to county officials, as of Sunday afternoon, the blaze is roughly 50 percent contained and crews have now secured a perimeter around the fire.

Roughly 40 personnel from multiple agencies, including: the Kauai Fire Department; the Department of Public Works; the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR); the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF); and private contractors continue to work together in battling the blaze that began shortly after midnight on Friday.

"We are very grateful for everyone's support, particularly the Pacific Missile Range Facility," Chief Robert Westerman said. "With the addition of their personnel and equipment, we were able to save the water pump house located on the east side of the fire. This pump house provides water to the entire Waimea community."

Power to that pump house has since been fully restored; however, there is one more tank that remains without power this morning.

As a precautionary measure, the water conservation request remains in effect for the Kekaha community.

Chief Westerman has confirmed that crews from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) will now be allowed into certain areas to inspect and repair any damage to power lines.

At this time, power to the Kokee area remains down and therefore the voluntary evacuation for residents and businesses in Kokee continues through at least today.

Both Kokee Road and Waimea Canyon Drive are closed.

"We are making progress in fighting the blaze, but we are in an area of very dry brush where spot fires can easily ignite," Westerman said. "It is crucial that fires are completely extinguished before we allow people back into the area. We understand the inconvenience this has posed to our community but safety is our number one priority."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

We'll continue to provide more information as it becomes available.

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