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4 more people cited for loitering in lava disaster zone

Four more people have been cited for loitering in a disaster area to get a close look of the flowing lava in Puna, bringing the total of people cited to 80 since the eruption began in early May.

Officers of the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement spotted four men in the area north of MacKenzie State Recreation Area at about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

Conservation enforcement officers cited the men identified as Mitchell Shroyer, 30, of Wisconsin; Christopher McWherter, 36, of California; Nicholas Allen, 27, of California and Joshua Allen, 32, of California with loitering in a disaster area and simple trespassing, according to a news release by the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

All face penalties of a fine of up to $5,000 and a year in jail.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources closed MacKenzie State Recreation Area and Lava Tree State Monument on May 4 due to earthquake activity in the area.

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