Kahoolawe brush fire appears to be out after one-third of the island is burned

Kahoolawe as seen from above.
Kahoolawe as seen from above.(KIRC)
Published: Mar. 1, 2020 at 1:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - One week after flames were ignited on Kahoolawe, a large wildfire appears to have burned itself out with some help from heavy showers.

The Maui Fire Department did an aerial assessment Saturday. The flames charred roughly 9,000 acres, or nearly a third of the island, according to the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC).

The fire spared the base camps of two groups that take care of Kahoolawe, but the commission’s main storage facility was scorched. It left vehicles and equipment used for restoration work damaged.

“There’s still some logs, kiawe trees, or logs that are still smoldering, but no active flames on the island. So for us, all intents and purpose, we believe the fire is out for now and then we’re going to start the recovery effort,” Michael Nahopii of KIRC said.

When personnel return to the island, they plan to tally up the damage to the storage area and try to figure out how the fire started.

Maui firefighters were unable to battle the flames due to the unknown threat posed by unexploded ordnance left behind by the United State military when they used the island as a bombing range back in 1941.

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