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Police and Fire

For Friday, October 8, 2010

By Star-Advertiser staff


Help sought to find farm equipment

Big Island police are asking for the public's help in two thefts of farm equipment in Hakalau.

During the evening of Sept. 30, thieves stole two water pumps from one property and a harvester usually used for gathering sweet potatoes from another location. The items have a combined value of $17,000.

Police ask that anyone with information about the items call officers Donovan Kohara or Clive Okino at the Police Department's nonemergency number at 935-3311. Anonymous tips can be relayed to CrimeStoppers by calling 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

HFD battles more Waipio brush fires

Firefighters fought their second Waipio area brush fire in 24 hours yesterday afternoon, and the third in less than a week.

About two acres were burned on the edge of agricultural land slated for the Koa Ridge residential development, on the Mililani side of Waipio Industrial Park behind the Pearl Harbor Federal Credit Union, HFD Capt. Robert Main said.

The fire began at about 1:13 p.m. and was under control by 1:39 p.m., Main said. About 20 firefighters fought the blaze.

The scorched area was just half a mile from a fire near the archery range at the Waikele side of Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park Wednesday evening.

That blaze, which was reported at 5:32 p.m. and under control at 6:31 p.m., involved about five acres at the edge of Waikele Gulch, Main said.

About five acres were burned early Saturday morning in the vicinity of today's fire, he said.

All are of suspicious origin, but "I can't say it's definitely arson or anything like that," Main said.

The Waipio-Mililani region has been subject to a number of brush fires in recent months.

Wildfire forces home evacuations

Six homes were evacuated Wednesday night during a wildfire that burned half an acre in Kapaa, Kauai.

Firefighters arrived at the scene along the Kapaa bypass road north of Kapaa New Town Park at about 9:45 p.m. and brought the blaze under control by 9:58 p.m., said Kauai County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said in an e-mail.

Police closed the northern leg of the bypass road and evacuated the Hauaala Road homes as a precaution, Daubert said.

The fire was put out at 10:45 p.m., and the road reopened shortly afterward. No one was injured. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Drowned man was resident of Hanamaulu

A fisherman who apparently drowned Tuesday off Kapaa was identified as 65-year-old Anthony Viquelia of Hanamaulu, a Kauai County spokeswoman said.

Viquelia was setting a net with two friends about 300 feet off Hotel Coral Reef at about 4:45 p.m. when he started to drift away, said spokeswoman Mary Daubert.

His friends continued searching after losing sight of him, and one swam to shore for help.

While police and firefighters conducted an extensive ground, water and air search, a bystander found the man floating face down off Pono Kai Resort.

Firefighters performed CPR on Viquelia until paramedics arrived, then took him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Daubert said a cause of death has not yet been determined.

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