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Volcano fire threatens forest area

A wildfire sparked on March 5 by a volcanic eruption poses a threat to an environmentally sensitive area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii island.

The Napau fire had grown to about 1,924 acres yesterday, and there is "no estimated containment date," said Gary Wuchner, park serv­ice fire information officer.

"Pockets of high heat remain on the fire front" on the north and south flanks of the fire, he said. The northern edge of the fire is closest to a rain forest in the special ecological area of the park.

"The importance of this ecological area cannot be overstated, as it is the home to rare and endangered and other endemic Hawaiian species of animals and plants. All fires in this area are threats and must be put out," he said.

But Wuchner said, "There are no homes or threats to park structures."

Park service firefighters have flown in to fight the fire.

Officer charged with license violation

A 54-year-old police officer will be arraigned April 26 on a charge of driving without a license for a minor accident during the weekend in Chinatown.

Officer Boyd Kamikawa’s court appearance will be two days short of a year since he struck a 61-year-old pedestrian while driving drunk in another crash.

Kamikawa’s license had been revoked after the April 24 crash in which he was driving drunk and struck a woman who was crossing the street in a downtown crosswalk. Police caught him twice in July driving with a revoked license.


Visitor dies after trouble in ocean

A 68-year-old male visitor from Rancho Muri­eta, Calif., died yesterday after getting into distress while swimming off Poipu Beach, Kauai County said.

The man apparently was trying to swim to shore near the Sheraton Kauai Resort at about 1:15 p.m. when he began having difficulty with the waves and currents, witnesses told county officials. Beachgoers brought the man to shore and performed CPR. County personnel arrived, but the man was pronounced dead at the beach.

Puna man is charged with assault

Hawaii County police arrested and charged a 34-year-old Puna man with seriously injuring a woman in her Mountain View home Saturday.

Erik Thomas Nelson was charged with first-degree assault on Sunday. His bail was set at $25,000.

The 38-year-old victim sustained severe facial injuries and was taken to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition. She was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu and listed in stable condition.


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