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Fire above Mililani is reported to be 80% contained

    A fire has been burning in native forest in the northern Koolau mountains since Tuesday.

A wildfire has consumed about 350 acres of native forest on a ridge in a remote area above Mililani Mauka.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Thursday night that efforts continue to battle the blaze, which has been 80 percent contained. But the department had no prediction for full containment, it said in a press release.

Honolulu Fire Department helicopter resumed water drops Thursday morning to combat the brush fire in the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the upper slopes of the northern Koolau mountain range.

Six DLNR firefighters and eight HFD personnel were conducting the water drops.

The terrain is steep, in native forest that includes ‘ohia, koa, uluhe, iliahi, halepepe and ‘ie’ie.

About 30 Honolulu Fire Department firefighters along with 10 Department of Land and Natural Resources fighters and a helicopter contracted by the state are also battling hot spots to slow down the fire, state officials said.

A helicopter shuttled fire crews from a lychee farm at Kuaoa and Paalii streets, where the fire department also staged its water trucks.

The brush fire was first reported at 10:57 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters were recalled to the scene at 9:46 a.m. Wednesday.

State fire fighting costs so far are $7,200 for manpower and equipment, according to the DNLR.

No structures are threatened and the cause of the fire has not been determined.

The 4,775-acre refuge is managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and protects habitat for several native bird species such as the ‘elepaio, threatened and endangered plants, and endangered tree snails.

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