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Crews battling brush fires in Waianae, Makaha


    A bicyclist rides amongst smoke-filled skies along Farrington Highway near Kili Drive this afternoon in Makaha.


    Eight-year-old Khloe Mack watches as a brushfire burns a ridgeline near Hakimo Valley in Waianae today.


    HFD’s Air One flies over Makaha during a large brush fire this afternoon.

The Honolulu Fire Department is responding to two brush fires on Oahu’s Leeward coast.

HFD Fire Captain Scot Seguirant said the department sent 10 trucks and 30 firefighters to the Waianae side of the fire and sent 26 trucks and 72 firefighters to the Makaha blaze. The fires are near Makaha Valley, Waianae Valley and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

“This is one of the bigger brush fires in recent memory,” Seguirant said.

Seguirant said few details are available but the Makaha fire was called in at 10:07 a.m. and the first firefighting unit arrived at 10:21 a.m. The Waianae fire was reported at 11:56 a.m and the first unit arrived at 12:29 p.m. he said.

HFD is requesting that people stay clear of the region where they are fighting the blazes.

Jim Richardson, who lives on the 19th floor of the Makaha Valley Towers, said the fire, which came as close as 30 feet to his building, was still burning at 4 p.m.

“My eyes are watering because my place is full of smoke and I’ve been vacuuming up little black tendrils off the floor all day,” Richardson said. “I’ve lived here since the 1980s and this is by far the most threatening fire that I’ve seen out here.”

Richardson said at the point that he started to get worried, “a whole bunch more fire units responded.”

He said he doesn’t know how bad the fire is still raging, but “there flames that I can see on Huipu Street, the road that runs from one side of the valley to the other and connects Makaha Valley Road with Kili Drive.”

On Friday night, HFD also responded to a wild-land fire that burned five acres on the hillside near Maili Point.

A total of eight HFD units, carrying 21 firefighters, responded, with the first unit arriving at 7:47 p.m. to find the fire on the Mauka side of Farrington Highway spreading up the hillside.

Personnel established command, requested for additional resources and initiated a fire attack to extinguish the flames and prevent further fire spread,” Seguirant said.

No structures were threatened by Friday night’s fire and no damages or injuries were reported.

Seguirant said “embers on the hillside are currently visible by the public but are not near unburned brush and have adequate fire breaks to avoid flare ups.”

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