In Our View for Sunday — December 08, 2006

• Thank you, to those fighting the fires


Thank you, to those fighting the fires

Last week’s fires had emergency personnel scrambling to answer the calls at all hours of the day and night.

Three brush fires occurred within a two-hour time period in the Anahola area alone from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, forcing firefighters to leap-frog from one to the next.

The following day, firefighters battled another blaze near a field where they had fought a 200-acre fire two days earlier.

The later fire, closer to the airport, threatened some rental cars, but quick action by firefighters avoided loss of property. Another small fire occurred around the same time near the Kapule Highway bridge over Hanama’ulu Stream.

Though the fires snarled traffic and threw a monkey wrench into many people’s daily routines, there was no loss of life or property.

Quick action by fire personnel and the police are to be commended. The KPD controlled traffic, while the KFD fought the flames in dry, windy conditions. U.S. Navy personnel cooperated by offering a chopper from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The Lihu’e Airport Crash/Fire/Rescue unit at the airport also lent a hand. Coordinating their efforts, those from many agencies worked together to control several dangerous situations before they could get out of hand. The island is quite fortunate to have such dedicated individuals committed to public safety. Some of the fire patterns have been called suspicious by KFD Chief Bob Westerman. Hopefully it is just coincidence, but if there is someone out there intentionally setting fires, let’s all hope they are caught quickly before an obituary has to be written or insurance claims filed, or someone loses everything they own.

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