Cooler weather today helped firefighters slow a wildfire burning mostly within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and near a forest habitat for endangered species.
The national park said the Keauhou Ranch fire is now 63 percent contained on the northeastern slopes of Mauna Loa.
Firefighters are trying to keep the fire’s southeastern flank from breaking out and burning north to the Kipuka Ki Special Ecological Area, a rare forest habitat and cultural heritage area.
With today’s cooler weather, firefighters were able to construct additional firebreaks on the northern and western edges of the fire. Firefighters also patrolled for hot spots and strengthened existing fire breaks along the eastern edge.
The park service warned that smoke from the fire, which was burning about a mile north of Highway 11, may be visible from the highway and motorists should drive with caution, roll up windows, and only stop for emergencies.
The cause of the fire, which broke out Aug. 5, is under investigation, but the park service said it is related to human activity.