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Mililani Mauka wildfire burns 460 acres


  • This photo provided by the Hawaii state Department of Land and Natural Resources shows smoke from a wildfire burning a rare native forest in a mountainous area near Mililani, Hawaii on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. The fire is burning ohia and koa forest on steep mountain ridges. There are no roads in the area, so firefighters are using helicopters to douse the flames. (AP Photo/Dan Dennison, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)
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State officials say a wildfire racing through rare native forest in central Oahu has burned about 460 acres.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says the fire in the Kipapa drainage above Mililani Mauka was about 40 percent contained as of Friday afternoon.

The steep terrain and lack of roads is forcing authorities to douse the flames from the air. Three contracted helicopters are currently dropping water on the fire.

The department says several federal firefighters trained in wildfire suppression flew in from the Big Island to help.

The fire has burned part of the Oahu Forest National Wildlife Refuge, a nearly 5,000-acre refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The forest provides habitat for native birds, endangered tree snails and threatened and endangered plants

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