Wildfire sparked by lightning in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park now 70% contained

Fires caused by lightning are a rare occurrence in Hawaii.
Hilina Pali wildfire 70% contained
Hilina Pali wildfire 70% contained(Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 5:56 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2022 at 2:43 PM HST
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HILO (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 15-person National Park Service wildland firefighting team, assisted by a helicopter, worked to douse a wildfire sparked by lightning in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The five-acre wildfire, located in the rocky terrain below the Hilina Pali Lookout, is now 70% contained.

Lightning from the recent storm sparked the fire, a rare occurrence in the park and throughout Hawaii.

Most wildfires in Hawaii are caused by humans, the National Park Service says.

The burn area contains remnant dryland ohia trees and native shrubs, but is otherwise dominated by alien grasses that can promote fire spread and increase fire severity, exacerbating the loss of native species in the area.

Park staff spotted a plume of smoke at 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday below Hilina Pali Lookout at the 2,000-foot elevation.

Hilina Pali Road is temporarily closed past Kulanaokuaiki Campground to the Hilina Pali Lookout due to firefighting efforts. Kaʻaha Trail is also closed.

Kulanaokuaiki Campground and Hilina Pali Road to the campground remain open, and drivers are reminded to observe the speed limit and watch for fire crews and vehicles on the road.