Saturday, November 28, 2015         

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Kauai wildfire up to 650 acres; hunting, fishing areas closed


Eighty-five state Department of Land and Natural Resources and Kauai County firefighters made steady progress Friday battling the Waimea Canyon State Park fire, DLNR said in a news release.

The fire has consumed 652 acres and is 15 percent contained, DLNR said. Weather was hot and dry with strong easterly winds, making the fire behavior and direction it is spreading difficult to predict.

Hunting units A and J in the Puu Ka Pele forest reserve remained closed. People are advised to check at hunter checking stations for fire closure notices.

The Puu Lua Reservoir and trout fishing are closed until further notice. The gate at the 12-mile marker on Highway 550 is also closed.

The fire is burning a eucalyptus tree plantation, whose trees are 85 to 120 feet tall.

The DLNR sent 68 Division of Forestry and Wildlife personnel from Kauai, Maui and Oahu to work on the fire line through the weekend, and a Hawaii island team will join them Sunday.

A voluntary evacuation notice for the cabins in the Puu Ka Pele section of the Waimea Canyon park remains in effect as a safety precaution until fire officials say fire condiions no longer threaten cabin users.

The county also used a helicopter to perform water drops, two county Pubic Works personnel to help with the water tender and a communications van that provided support.

The earlier Polihale ridge spot fire has connected with the main fire.

A second spot fire broke out late Wenesday afternoon about 1 1/2 miles away on the western side of Haeleele Ridge.

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