Kauai officials investigating dozens of suspicious brush fires

Kauai officials investigating dozens of suspicious brush fires

LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kauai police and fire departments are working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to investigate brush fires that have been occurring on public property islandwide. KPD urges anyone with information on the cause of the fires to contact police immediately.

"State and county firefighters have responded to over 40 brush fires since December, from Kekaha to Haena," stated Fire Chief Robert Westerman. "We are asking the public to be vigilant to help protect their properties and also to report any suspicious activity to police."

While the exact cause of each fire has not yet been determined, the number of brush fires occurring is unusually high and police suspect foul play.

"At this time, detectives are following up on any and all leads and will continue to investigate incoming information," stated Acting Captain of the Investigation Services Bureau Bryson Ponce. "We urge anyone who may have information on a recent brush fire, or anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity in the area of a fire, to please call police."

The Kauai Fire Department also offers these tips to reduce the risk of fire around your home:

• Create a defensible space around your home to protect it from a spreading fire.

"Most of these brush fires are occurring near residential neighborhoods, and it doesn't take much for a brush fire to turn into a house fire," stated Acting Captain Ponce. "With the community's assistance, we hope to prevent these fires from continuing and to bring any responsible person(s) to justice."

Tipsters can call Det. Christian Jenkins at 241-1680 or Police Dispatch at 241-1711.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.