Anahola residents help fire crews at brush fire

ANAHOLA — Fire crews from the Kapa‘a and Kaike‘a fire stations responded to calls of a fire in Anahola Thursday afternoon.

Lorraine Rapozo, president of the Anahola Hawaiian Homes Association, said initially, there appeared to be one fire, but on closer examination, there were two fires, the bigger one being closer to the residences on Hawaiian Home Lands in Anahola and the other spreading toward Kealia.

Rapozo, standing by along with a tanker with water for reloading the mini tankers, said there needs to be a plan put in place for situations like this.

“The access roads are all busted up,” she said. “Then, there is the question of keys for the locks.”

Frank Cummings, an Anahola resident, said starting Friday he’ll take a bulldozer and clear out the access roads so trucks are able to get to fires, in the event it happens.

Rapozo expressed her frustration with the dirt-bikers who tear up the roads each time they go in and fix them.

“Right now, you can’t get to the fire because it’s down near the ocean and even if you have four-wheel drive, the roads are all broken up,” said an Anahola resident who had just returned from clearing a path atop a front loader.

Russell Yee, a Kaua‘i Fire Dept. inspector, said they used one of the mules to access the fire after responding around 3 p.m.

“If we didn’t have these mules, we wouldn’t be able to get a close view of the fire,” Yee said.

Kaina Ka‘auwai had a plane to catch, being one of the coaches for the Kawaihau Community Little League Minors All-Stars team heading to O‘ahu for the district playoffs, but emerged atop a motor scooter, a machete strapped to his chest and a chainsaw tucked neatly between his feet.

“He’s got a plane to catch,” Rapozo said. “But we’re all volunteering. We don’t get paid for this, and yet, he just went in and cut trails so the fire trucks could get in. We just love our community.”

No further details were available from the brush fire which was called in between 2:30 and 3 p.m. and fire fighters wrapping up after tackling the blaze until after 6 p.m.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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