Busy Monday for fire crews

LIHU‘E — Three brush fires on the Westside and North Shore, a large fire in Lihu‘e’s industrial district and an injured visitor at a relatively remote waterfall in Wailua kept fire crews busy between Sunday night and Monday afternoon.

Firefighters at the Kaua’i Fire Department’s Battalion 1 on Monday worked to put out two brush fires on the Westside, one in Hanapepe Valley and another on Koke‘e.

Engine 6, Truck 6 and Truck 5 responded to an agricultural burn in Hanapepe Valley at approximately 8:31 a.m. Monday, according to county officials.

Farmers clearing the land were burning the debris when the fire spread beyond the area they were working in. The fire was deemed under control at 9:30 a.m. and fully extinguished at 12:25 p.m. Slightly less than a quarter acre was scorched by the Hanapepe fire.

The Koke‘e brush fire happened in an area that was not accessible by truck. Firefighters from the Waimea station had to carry water packs and Pulaskis — firefighting tools used to construct fire breaks — and hike in about one-fourth of a mile to get to the scene.

They were assisted by Air 1, which provided water drops from 10:45 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. The fire was deemed under control at 10:15 a.m. and fully extinguished at 11:30 a.m. An area roughly 30 feet by 75 feet burned in the Koke‘e fire.

On the North Shore, Engine 1 extinguished some of the hot spots in a Lumahai brush fire that broke out Sunday night. The fire was deemed under control Monday at 5:44 a.m., but firefighters were still monitoring the smoldering remnants that remained on hilly terrain in the afternoon.

An estimated 5 acres have burned in the North Shore fire, according to county officials.

Air 1 was called in to aid in the Lumahai firefighting efforts by doing water drops on the roots of the smoldering brush at 6:30 a.m. and completed multiple drops until 10 a.m.

Truck 8, Truck 2 and Rescue 3 were also part of that firefighting effort.

A fire at a Lihu‘e car dealership was extinguished 25 minutes after a call was received, but not before causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The Lihu‘e fire station received a 1:20 a.m. alarm about a structure fire at Island Cars in Lihu‘e Industrial Park, Phase II. As it turned out, several vehicles had caught on fire, and the fire spread to a section of the warehouse, according to county officials.

The Lihu‘e fire crew extinguished the blaze at 1:45 a.m.

An employee of Island Cars who was working in the building at the time of the fire sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital in a private vehicle.

Two cars were completely destroyed along with two scooters and a motorcycle, and three cars were damaged. Fire officials estimate damages to the warehouse and its contents to be $200,000.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

In light of the brush fires, officials are advising the public to exercise caution in outdoor areas and help to prevent fires.

Among the tips offered by the Fire Prevention Bureau are the following:

• Be sure to completely extinguish cigarettes, campfires and cooking fires.

• Outside the home: Clear leaves, twigs and fallen branches; remove dead limbs from trees; clear rain gutters; and clear debris from around elevated homes.

• Be sure to have in the yard a garden hose that’s long enough to reach all areas of the home.

Visitor injured at Secret Falls

Fire fighters responded to a call Monday afternoon a popular kayaking and hiking spot in Wailua River.

A 75-year-old woman from Hobesound, Fla., was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital Monday afternoon after sustaining an injury to her arm at Secret Falls — also known as Uluwehi Falls — in Wailua. Her current condition was not known by press time.

The woman had been part of a guided kayak and hiking tour when the incident occurred, according to county officials. Engine 2, Truck 2 and Rescue 3 responded to the call.

Four of the Kapa‘a firefighters and the four rescue specialists hiked in approximately two miles to Secret Falls to where the injured woman was. They treated the victim at the scene, then placed her in a Stokes’ litter and wheeled her to Kamokila Village. From there, at approximately 12:45 p.m., medics transported her to the hospital.


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