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Brushfire started by lava continues to burn

By Michael Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 1:13 a.m. HST, Mar 21, 2011

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park firefighters continue to map and monitor the Napau Fire on the east rift of Kilauea Volcano that has burned more than 1,800 acres since it was first triggered by the March 5 Kamoamoa fissure eruption.

Two days of rain have helped to slow the fire’s spread and fire crews have used the time to develop safety zones in cool areas within the fire perimeter and monitor vegetation that can act as fuel for the blaze.

According to Napau Fire information officer Gary Wuscher, pockets of high heat remain on the front and flanks of the fire.

Wuscher has said that park firefighters are waiting for more favorable conditions before engaging the fire for safety and practicality considerations.

In the meantime, crews have been busy with various precautionary and strategic tasks.

Off Chain of Craters Road near the Pali, crews installed a temporary water storage tank, which will allow firefighters to draw water continuously without having to move their fire engine back and forth. 

Crews were also able to cut back brush to protect sensitive monitoring equipment used by the U.S. Geological Survey to track seismic activity.

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