Wailua Fire Forces School Closures - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Wailua Fire Forces School Closures

WAIALUA (KHNL) - Three days, and the brush fire on Oahu's North Shore was still burning wildly Tuesday night.

Honolulu firefighters say nearby residents need to be prepared in case they have to evacuate the area. Flames were not threatening homes, so evacuations were not likely.

However, crews say nearby residents need to pack up a bag and be ready to leave their homes in case flames head in their direction.

Chopper 8 caught video of the stubborn brushfire. The new problem tuesday was the smoke.

The Department of Health issued an advisory today warning those with breathing problems to stay indoors and use an air conditioner.

The plume was so dense, the American Red Cross even had to move its shelter from the Waianae Community Park to Nanakuli Beach Park.

"Dust and ashes and smoke and visability was even restricted in the area," says American Red Cross Senior Responder Gerald Forchuck.

"There were ashes every where, it was overcast, side walks were orange, just smokey everywhere," says Makaha resident Christina Pajarillo.

The American Red Cross closed the shelter's doors at 8:00 p.m.

The shelter was open since 3:00 p.m. but only one person showed up so the American Red Cross housed that person elsewhere.

The brush fire started Sunday.

Monday night, bright orange flames burned on the hillside of Mount Kaala.

Firefighters say they still have not been able to contain the fire.

The thick smoke has also affected schools.

Two will be closed Wednesday as a safety precaution - Makaha Elementary and Waianae High School.

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