Rangers urge safety at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rangers urge safety at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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VOLCANO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The new lava flow that is spilling into the ocean at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has prompted park officials to urge visitors to stay a safe distance away.

Officials say the narrow streams of lava that reached the ocean last weekend are flowing several hundred yards outside of the park's easternmost boundary, over private land closer to Kalapana.

Park officials are asking that visitors do not access the flow from the end of Chain of Craters Road., they say the 10 mile round trip hike is an extremely arduous and is over hardened lava.

"The best and closest place to observe a volcanic eruption within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at present is from Jaggar Museum overlook, and other vantage points at the summit of Kîlauea that provide views of Halema‘uma‘u Crater," said Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno.

The park has increased staffing at Jaggar Museum to assist the large influx in visitors drawn to Halemaumau. Park staff says the real show is after sunset, when Halemaumau gives off a vivid glow that illuminates the clouds and the plume as it billows into the night sky.

Even with the incredible show at Halemaumau hundreds of visitors continue to venture to the end of Chain of Craters Road, hoping to hike out to the coastal.

"We don't want people to be disappointed, and we especially don't want people to get hurt," Magno said. "While the historic flows covering the end of Chain of Craters Road are well worth a visit during the day, hiking all the way out to the ocean entry from the park side and leaving the park to cross private property isn't something we recommend," he said.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/havo.

For webcams and daily Kîlauea status updates, visit the USGS HVO website.

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