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Homes in the back of Waianae Valley evacuated as fire approaches

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 11:02 p.m. HST, Jun 04, 2012


A 1,000-acre wildfire that started in Lualualei Valley jumped into Waianae Valley today and endangered houses at the end of Waianae Valley Road.
 
An estimated two dozen homes were evacuated along or in the vicinity of Haleahi Road near what is known as Waianae Camp by the Honolulu Fire Department with the help of Honolulu police, said Capt. Terry Seelig, HFD spokesman, at about 7 p.m.

The fire burned about 1,000 acres, and the homes were out of danger later in the evening.

Firefighters were to remain overnight to monitor the hot spots.
 
At least 10 companies and both HFD helicopters were fighting the blaze on the Waianae Valley side. Earlier, about six companies were fighting the fire on the Lualualei side where the blaze began about 1:15 p.m., Seelig said.
 
 "There are a lot of farm homes here," he said. "We're doing what we can to protect the residences. There are some farm structures that are spread out ... we might not be able to save all of them, like hot houses and storage. Our focus is going to be to protect the residences and to control the fire."
 
Bernie Watts said the fire came within 50 feet of her Haleahi Road home. "Everything we could hose we hosed."
 
About 50 acres were scorched in an area high above Naval Radio Transmitter Facility Lualualei, in a remote and inaccessible portion that made it difficult for firefighters to reach on foot, Seelig said.
 
Because the fire began on federal property, federal firefighters took the lead initially.
 
Meanwhile, Honolulu firefighters are also battling a wildfire in an area behind Wilikina Drive in Wahiawa about 2 p.m., Seelig said.
 
The fire appears to be in the vicinity of some homeless camps, but there have not been any reports of homeless structures being destroyed, he said.
 
The total area burned there is about two acres, he said.






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