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7 more citations issued to loiterers in active Kilauea eruption zones

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DENNIS ODA/DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM Highway 132 near Pohoiki Road past Pahoa was closed due to lava.

State officials said that seven more people were cited Wednesday night for allegedly bypassing established checkpoints and loitering in closed areas in the active Kilauea eruption zone, bringing the total to at least 25.

Officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement cited two Puna residents at Bryson Cinder Quarry, past the Papaya Farms Road checkpoint.

The pair — Taylor Fankhouser, 27, and 33-year-old Jessica Devendorf, 33 — got past the checkpoint, according to officers, after a local resident vouched for them and said they were staying at the resident’s home. The two reportedly rode bikes to the area where they were cited, and were standing on a puu with hot lava hardening around it about 15 yards away.

Another five people were cited outside the gate at MacKenzie State Park, which has been closed for the past month. They are identified as Robert Chetley, 62, of Paradise Park, Jonathan Hensley, 30, of Pahoa, Jeremy Osuna, 30, of Keaau, Daniel Alexander Records, 38, of Kapoho and Maryanne Torres, 52, of Opihikao.

All seven people were cited under Hawaii County Code for loitering in a closed area. DLNR said they not only put themselves at risk, but potentially endangered the lives of emergency workers and law enforcement if they needed to be rescued.

The seven citations were in addition to 18 that the state previously issued for similar violations.

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