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Officials to close Big Isle hunting zone following brush fires

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:24 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2013

Portions of the Puu Anahulu Game Management Area in North Kona will be closed to hunters this weekend while state land department workers continue mop-up operations following three brush fires that destroyed more than 700 acres earlier this week.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said bird hunting will not be allowed in the mauka portion of hunting unit E in the game management area. The access gate will be closed to public use. 

No structures were damaged as a result of the fires.

The first fire was reported at 3:33 p.m. Monday on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road, also known as Route 190, in the area of the 14-mile marker in Kailua-Kona. That brush fire consumed 588 acres. 

On Tuesday at 3:54 p.m., Kona police and fire personnel responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawaii Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Puanahulu. The fire spread from the mauka side of the roadway and headed south in the direction of the Puulani Estates Subdivision, burning approximately 150 acres of vacant land. 

A third brush fire was reported in the area of the 23-mile marker, also on Hawaii Belt Road. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned approximately a quarter of an acre. 

Big Island police are continuing the investigation into the cause of the fires. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Levon Stevens at 326-4646, extension 226. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

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