Wahiawa brush fire now 75 percent contained

Heavy smoke hangs over central Oahu as brush fire continues to burn in Wahiawa [10pm report]
Courtesy: Carl Addison
Courtesy: Carl Addison

WAHIAWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Firefighters are continuing to keep a close watch on a wildfire that continues to burn in Wahiawa, but higher humidity levels and rain late Tuesday have helped to keep it from spreading.

So far, around 500 acres have been scorched by the flames, but no structures have been burned. However, area schools were canceled Tuesday because of the heavy smoke that has also been causing some potentially hazardous conditions. Schools were back in session Wednesday because of the improved conditions, the Department of Education said.

Rescue crews are continuing to send multiple helicopters to drop buckets of water on the hot spots to prevent flames from advancing.

The fire is now 75 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

On Monday, officials ordered a temporary evacuation for some homes in the area.

Residents of Nonohe Street, Nonohe Place, Puni Noni Street, and Puni Noni Place were evacuated by officials as crews to battled the flames on Monday. The Hawaii Red Cross set up an emergency shelter at Wahiawa District Park for those affected by the brush fire. The evacuation was lifted around 7 p.m. Monday.

Flames first broke out on Saturday, August 1, around 4 p.m. about one mile above California Avenue. The fire was close to the east range of the Schofield Barracks as well the Ewa Forest Reserve.

The area burning on Saturday was inaccessible to fire crews, but officials were able to drop water using a helicopter. Crews were forced to suspend their containment efforts until first light on Sunday.

By Sunday, the fire had burned over 75 acres of land, with strong winds making it difficult for crews on scene.

A new brush fire then broke out around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, but HFD did not confirm that it was triggered by or is part of the original brush fire that started burning Saturday afternoon. Both fires were very close in proximity.

Fire crews remained on scene overnight in an attempt to contain the flames of the second fire that began creeping towards homes.

One firefighter was taken to a local hospital after suffering a non-life threatening leg injury.

Stay with Hawaii News Now for the latest updates and information with this developing story.

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