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11 cited for sneaking into closed areas of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

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The National Park Service reported that 11 people were cited for illegally entering closed portions of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday.

The group — 10 men and one woman —allegedly snuck past numerous closure signs and ventured down to the rim of Halemaum‘u Crater below Jaggar Museum, the NPS said, before being spotted by a geomorphologist and trail crew assessing seismic damage across the caldera at Keanakakoi.

Each person was cited $100 for violating a lawful closure, $250 for disorderly conduct, plus a $30 processing fee.

“When people put themselves at risk, they put first responders at risk,” said Chief Ranger John Broward in a news release. “Some of the offenders were spotted right at the sheer edge of the crater, which is now about 1,500 feet deep and extremely unstable. They are fortunate none of them died.”

Most of the park has been closed since May 11 due to the dangers and damage caused by seismic activity and collapse events at the Kilauea summit. The park recently announced a target date of Sept. 22, National Public Lands Day, for a partial reopening of key attractions.

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