Officials believe Kapolei brush fires near freeway were intentionally set

Officials believe Kapolei brush fires near freeway were intentionally set

KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Authorities are investigating three brush fires that burned a total of two to three acres along the H-1 Freeway in Kapolei.

The Honolulu Fire Department said the fires were reported at about 9:40 a.m. Sunday. The blazes were about a quarter mile apart from each other next to the eastbound lanes of the freeway between the Makakilo on-ramp and the North-South Road off-ramp.

"We kinda noticed that there was smoke along the freeway," said Kapolei resident Rocky Abad, who was driving toward Waipahu with family members. "At first we thought it was a burning car or something, and then we noticed like it was a brush fire, so we kinda slowed down because the smoke was kinda heavy at the time."

Abad said as they continued eastbound, they saw even more fires.

"When we were going we noticed there was another one, a second one. And we were like, this is kinda weird. So we kept going and I told my daughter that we should videotape them. So we were videotaping, and then we actually got the third one."

Authorities closed off the two right lanes of the freeway, causing a traffic backup.

It's believed that someone intentionally set the three fires.

"For a fire to start, you need a heat source," said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Kendall Ching. "So it's suspicious when it's off the freeway just a quarter mile apart."

There already have been several brush fires in the area since the middle of May, when a large blaze came close to several Makakilo homes. There's also a lot of dry brush that could serve as fuel.

"It's been hot lately," said Abad. "And especially coming from the west side, it's super dry on that end."

Anyone with information on Sunday's brush fires is asked to call Honolulu Police.

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