KAILUA-KONA – A brush fire burned about 16 hectares near the Hokulia golf course on Monday night.
Shortly after 5:00 pm, the Hawaii Fire Department teams went to the private residential area, south of the Mamalahoa bypass near the bottom of Halekii Street. When they arrived on the scene, the flames burned through the undergrowth.
When the fire broke out, the golf course was immediately closed. It is unclear if anyone was playing golf at the time of the incident. However, no injuries have been reported.
The fire was controlled about two hours later at 7:30 pm and was confined between aisles on three sides with a heavy fuel load along the lower edge of the fire, according to the service. fire. The teams were unable to cut a firebreak at the bottom of the fire due to numerous archaeological and historical sites.
The fire was contained between holes 1 and 18, said Mike Vitousek, cultural resources manager in Hokulia. In the area are two historic trails – Old Government Road and Alaloa Trail.
The teams connected to a water source at the clubhouse and fired several hundred feet of stoppipe to get to the fire.
Vitousek said that the flames were confined to the mauka side by the watering system of the golf course. The only open side was the west side, near the falls of the Alaloa Trail.
"They were worried about how they could get in without doing any damage," Vitousek said of the fire department.
Vitousek was on site with the crews and was able to direct them to an area of the trail where there had been an earlier breach. Teams were able to cross the Alaloa Trail by vehicle to get to the scene of the fire with minimal disturbance of the ground.
"The fire department has done a phenomenal job," said Vitousek. "They took a low-impact approach to fighting the fire and they were successful."
He added that the Alaloa Trail is several centuries old and crosses the area intermittently, while some portions no longer exist.
Fire crews stayed on the scene all night to monitor hot spots and prevent any possible spread of the fire. Firefighters continued their work at the golf course until Tuesday.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
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