Firefighters continue to extinguish Westside brush fire

Firefighters continued to extinguish a brush fire Wednesday that started Tuesday in Makaweli Valley, and helicopter crews dumped hundreds of gallons of water, helping to contain the fire.

By late Wednesday afternoon, firefighters and water drops contained hot spots and the spread of the fire.

Area plants include mainly haole koa trees and other shrubs, and the few homes in the area were not in danger, according to fire department personnel.

A volunteer crew from the Pacific Missile Range Facility used water from a reservoir on Gay & Robinson property to contain the fire while the Air One crew from Interisland Helicopters used water from Waimea River, according to personnel.

On Tuesday, Air 1 and the first PMRF volunteer helicopter crew went up from about 1-3 p.m. According to fire personnel, the brush fire was under control by about 3 p.m., but started to spread again about two hours later. The second PMRF crew responded at about 5:45 p.m. and flew until sundown. AD2 Hull and AD2 Carlile of the NATOPS program (Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization) at PMRF rappelled down from helicopters to assist KFD firefighters and G&R workers who were stomping out the fire. Interisland responded at about 6:30 and also did water drops after the PMRF crew had to return at sundown, until about 8:30 p.m.

No serious injuries were reported in the fire, though American Medical Response personnel were concerned about nearby residents crossing the river on ATVs, trucks and horses.


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