SOUTH KOHALA (KHNL) -- About eight brush fires broke out in South Kohala early Sunday morning. Multiple units are on scene, battling the flames.
There are two on Waikoloa Road, two on Queen Kaahumanu near Puako, two on Kawaihae Road, and two on Akoni Pule Highway. The first fire was reported at 3:20 Sunday morning and the last at 4:14. Fire officials have ordered mandatory evacuations from hundreds of residents as a precautionary measure due to smoke hazards. No homes were damaged and are not in any immediate danger.
Evacuation Centers are opened at the Waikoloa Elementary School Cafeteria, in Waikoloa Village and the Waimea Community Center in Waimea. Pets are allowed at these shelters, but are to be kept outside.
Road blocks were also put into place on Queen Kaahumanu from Mauna Kea Beach Drive to Kawaihae Road, and on Kawaihae Road from Waiemi to Queen Kaahumanu. Those are now all open, but drivers are being asked to use caution and be on the lookout for emergency crews working along the roadway.
Akoni Pule Highway is closed to all through traffic between the intersections of Puakea Bay Drive to Kohala Ranch Road.
Hapuna Beach Park, Wailea Beach and Spencer Beach Park are closed until further notice.
There is no number on acreage burned yet, but arson is suspected.
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