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All Wahiawa schools open Wednesday; Rains, humidity helped firefighters

  • Jamm Aquino / JAquino@staradvertiser.com
    A Blackhawk helicopter worked to douse flames atop the ridgeline near the 2500 block of California Avenue on Tuesday in Wahiawa. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
  • Jamm Aquino / jaquino@staradvertiser.com
    Smoke rose from the ridgeline near the 2500 block of California Avenue on Tuesday in Wahiawa.
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Classes resumed Wednesday at the four Wahiawa schools that were closed Tuesday because of possible dangers from a brush fire that has been burning since Saturday. 

The Department of Education said in a tweet Wednesday that Iliahi Elementary, Wahiawa Elementary, Wahiawa Middle and Leilehua High Schools would reopen because overnight rain has improved conditions in the area near California Avenue where the schools are located. 

Football practice at Leilehua was also cancelled Tuesday jeopardizing its preseason opener against Punahou School this weekend. Last year Leilehua’s preseason game against Punahou was cancelled because of Hurricane Iselle. 

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the the Poamoho-Ewa Forest Reserve fire has charred about 500 acres and was considered 20 percent contained as of Tuesday night. 

Twelve Division of Forestry and Wildlife firefighters have been assigned to fight the blaze Wednesday. A bulldozer will be cutting a fire line and three helicopters conducting water bucket drops, officials said. 

The Honolulu Fire Department has established a fire watch on California Avenue near the area where about 100 homes were temporarily evacuated on Monday evening. 

Heavy smoke in Wahiawa and surrounding areas also prompted advisories from the state Department of Health for residents suffering from respiratory conditions to stay indoors and make sure they have an adequate supply of medications.

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