Fire sears five acres near KCCC

A brush fire that began yesterday afternoon at Kalepa Forest Reserve engulfed roughly five acres in flames and took nearly five hours to get under control, county officials said yesterday.

About a dozen firefighters from Lihu‘e, Kapa‘a and Kalaheo stations fought the blaze, that began around 1 p.m., near the Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center. Within 45 minutes, Inter-Island helicopter Air-1 was called out to dump water on the fire, according to scanner traffic.

The fire was deemed under control around 6 p.m.

Two public works water-tanker operators and eight employees of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources —Division of Forestry and Wildlife — arrived around 2:30 p.m.

The singed land is owned by the state, Mary Daubert, county spokeswoman, said.

Emergency responders relied on a fire engine and brush fire truck from Lihu‘e, and a brush fire truck from Kapa‘a and a Hummer to “ferry water” in addition to the helicopter, Daubert said.

The two smaller brush fire trucks were necessary because the fire was initially isolated on a steep hill, with an access road too narrow to allow for fire engines.

At press time, emergency responders remained on-scene to extinguish hot spots.

No structures or native plant and animal species were threatened in the fire, and no injuries or deaths were caused.

• Amanda C. Gregg, assistant editor/staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or


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