Big Island brushfire spares famous Kamehameha heiau

Big Island brushfire spares famous Kamehameha heiau

KAWAIHAE, Hawaii (AP) - The National Park Service says a brushfire burned 90 percent of the vegetation within the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site but didn't damage its famous stone temple.

The park service said Monday the site is closed while firefighters finish extinguishing smoldering hot spots. Archaeologists are assessing damage.

The park service says the heiau, or stone temple, where King Kamehameha the Great launched his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 wasn't damaged. The fire also spared the older Mailekini Heiau below it.

The blaze came within a few feet of the visitor center and park headquarters on Saturday, but firefighters put it out.

The park could reopen as early as Wednesday.

The fire burned more than 4,600 acres in the Kawaihae area of the Big Island over the weekend.

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