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Breakout flow advances closer to main highway

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PAHOA, Hawaii » The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano moved markedly closer to Pahoa’s main highway on Saturday.

Hawaii County Civil Defense announced on Saturday that a breakout along the north side of the flow had moved downslope, advancing 120 yards since Friday, and was 0.4 miles from the area of Highway 130 that’s west of the Pahoa police and fire stations.

The new breakout had advanced downslope below an area near the original flow front, which remains stalled.

Meanwhile, two breakouts along the north margin of the flow, about 1 to 1.5 miles farther upslope from the flow front, were active but moving sluggishly.

Earlier last week, multiple brush fires started in the lower Puna area. Hawaii County officials said that as of Friday, most of the fires had been contained.

According to the Hawaii Police Department, Route 137, also known as the Kapoho-Kalapana Road, was closed at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday due to a brush fire. The road was closed from the Pohoiki intersection for a half-mile on the Kapoho side of the road.

The Pohoiki park was also closed.

With the ongoing dry weather, Civil Defense said, brush fires related to the lava flow would likely continue. Smoke and vog conditions were heavy with a southwest wind blowing the smoke to the northeast over the areas of lower Puna through Hilo.

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