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Scientists: Lava could reach Pahoa in 16 days

  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    The June 27th lava flow remains active, and the flow front continues to advance towards the northeast along the forest boundary. Today, the flow front consisted of a narrow lobe moving through thick forest. The flow front was 1.7 km (1.1 miles) upslope of Apa?a St., and 2.7 km (1.7 miles) from P?hoa Village Road on Wednesday. The lava flow also triggered a brush fire that was active north of the flow front this afternoon.

  • A close-up view taken Wednesday shows the leading edge of the June 27th flow and the correspoding thermal image shows the concentration of hot, fluid lava at the flow margin.
  • USGS
    Lava breakouts remained active on Wednesday, upslope of the flow front, in the area that lava first entered ground cracks.
  • USGS / HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    This photo taken Wednesday shows the flow front, largely masked by thick smoke, with the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision to the left. A brush fire extends off the right side of the photo.
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Lava appears to be picking up speed toward Pahoa and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists estimate the flow could reach the outskirts of the town in 16 days.

Scientists resumed predictions on when the lava could reach Pahoa on Monday, after the flow resumed its advance last week.

The lava has been moving about 390 feet a day since Oct. 3 and is about 1.2 miles upslope of Apaa Street, on the outskirts of Pahoa along the steepest descent path and 1.1 miles upslope along a straight line. The flow front is narrow, about 230 feet wide.

Scientists caution that the flow advance has varied significantly over the last month and the projection is subject to change.

Lava advanced about 120 yards between Monday and Tuesday, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported after an overflight Tuesday morning.

The overflight also showed that  a brush fire started by lava has been contained.

Hawaii County firefighters remained on scene Tuesday continuing with mop-up operations.

The brushfire burned about 293-acre brush fire at the front of the June 27 Kilauea lava flow on Monday, according to a county news release.

Firefighters responded just before 1 p.m. Monday to a brush fire that was moving north-northwest.

At one point, the fire jumped containment lines and burned about 100 yards past a fire break before the outbreak was extinguished.

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