Fire, big surf keep KFD busy

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Fire Department battled both fire and big surf Sunday, as the county helicopter was able to spot a brush fire on the way back to Lihu‘e Airport after a call to help a hiker injured by big surf.

The brush fire, on the makai side of Lihu‘e Airport near the navigation ball, burned about three acres. No one was injured and it did not impede airport operations. No structures were damaged, county officials said.

Around a half-dozen firefighters from KFD Engine 3, Rescue 3, Truck 2 and Truck 4 responded to the call around 12:30 p.m. The blaze was under control in less than an hour, but according to one firefighter, it might have been more difficult if there had been stronger winds. He said the State Airport crash fire vehicle was also present and was a big help.

The fire was fully extinguished by 2:08 p.m., according to a county news release.

The call to dispatch came from the Air 1 county helicopter around 12:30 p.m. as it was returning to Lihu‘e after evacuating a victim with a possible spine injury from the rocks below the Pali Ke Kua Condominiums near Hideaways Beach.

According to a county news release, personnel from the Hanalei Fire Station responded to the 10:59 a.m. call and located the 25-year-old male visitor from Florida in a remote rocky area below the Pali Ke Kua condominiums. The man and his wife had reportedly been hiking and taking pictures when waves thrashed him against the rocks.

Rescue personnel determined that the terrain and the victim’s injury made it impossible to evacuate him up the trail safely on foot. The responders instead requested Air 1 county helicopter to make the extraction from the bottom of trail using a harness and basket.

Air 1 transported the victim to a landing zone in the vicinity of the condominium complex, where an ambulance transported him to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, county officials said.

The victim was reported to be in stable condition Sunday evening.

The National Weather service has extended the high surf warning for the islands of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau through 6 p.m. today. Large waves in excess of 30-foot faces will be battering the north and west-facing shores, resulting in dangerous swimming conditions and deadly rip currents.

Surf conditions for Kaua‘i can be found at 


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.