HFD suspects arson in recent string of Hawaii Kai brush fires

HFD suspects arson in recent string of Hawaii Kai brush fires
Updated: May. 24, 2017 at 10:02 PM HST
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HAWAII KAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last week's brush fire in Kamilo Nui Valley, which burned about 20 acres, was the 12th brush fire in a year in the Hawaii Kai area. That has some residents on edge.

"What's being done in Hawaii Kai is totally unacceptable and we don't wish it on any community and that's why it's got to be stopped. It's gotta be stopped now," said state Rep. Gene Ward (R) Hawaii Kai.

Ward is organizing a June 6 town hall meeting where fire officials, police and wild fire experts will provide the public with the latest details on the fires.

So far, fire officials have not determined the cause to last week's blaze, but said the circumstances are suspicious.

No one was hurt but the fire came close to several home, burning land owned by Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaii Kai Memorial Park.

Hawaii Kai Memorial Park's attorney said he believes last week's fire was deliberate.

"Our working hypothesis is arson, doesn't seem to be an inadvertent fire," said attorney William McCorriston.

He said last week's fire had multiple points of origin, which would indicate arson.

He said the landowner has taken to locking access gates and flying drones to find out whether the fires are being caused by homeless encampments.

Ward added that hundreds of Hawaii Kai residents are sharing what they know about the fires on an online neighborhood watch site called Nextdoor.com.

"There are a lot of eyes and ears watching so whoever is doing this, they're going to get caught," he said.

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