Christmas tree bonfire at sandbar draws swift rebuke from the state

Christmas tree bonfire at sandbar draws swift rebuke from the state

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is warning people that Christmas tree burning is not permitted at the Kaneohe Bay sandbar ― and they’re promising enforcement of any violators.

State conservation officers got a tip Saturday about a tree bonfire, but were unable to identify those involved. Video posted online showed a tree burning gathering with a large number of people with no masks or social distancing. An estimated 25 to 50 people were believed to have been in the group.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says people hauling trees to the sandbar and burning them is detrimental to the environment. The practice has become an annual occurrence.

“Moreover, numerous photos on social media show these people clearly ignoring current COVID-19 mandates, which on Oahu restrict gatherings to fewer than five people and require masking when in close proximity to others,” state conservation enforcement Chief Jason Redulla said, in a news release.

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