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State closes more Big Island lands because of fire risk

The state land department is closing several more areas on the Big Island because of extreme fire-hazard conditions caused by the drought.

All public activities, including hunting, hiking, bird watching, and off-road vehicle use, will be affected in the closed areas, said the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The closures are necessary to protect the sensitive and unique natural resources in the area, DLNR said. Closures will last from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 or until sufficient rainfall reduces the fire risk.

Areas to be closed are: Kaohe Lease Cooperative Game Management Area, Puu Waawaa Forest Reserve, Puuanahulu Game Management Area, Kapapala Ranch Cooperative Game Management Area, Kapapala Forest Reserve, and Kahua/Ponoholo Ranch Special Permit Area.

Pohakuloa Training Area will also be closed to public access until further notice by the Department of Defense.

Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Kaohe Game Management Area will remain closed until Dec. 31.

Mauna Kea State Recreation Area is still open.

For further information on closures, call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife office in Hilo at 974-4221.

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