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Kokee fire 40 percent contained

KOKEE — The brush fire that broke out at around 7 p.m. Friday on Pokii Ridge in Kokee is about 40 percent contained, thanks to the efforts of the first responders.

Kokee Road was still closed Saturday evening due to the fire, according to a county news release.

Firefighters from the Waimea, Hanapepe and Kalaheo stations along with Rescue 3, a battalion chief and the prevention captain responded to the fire. In addition, firefighters from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the Kauai area forestry manager responded.

A bulldozer was dispatched by DOFAW to cut firebreaks on an old dirt road about 10 p.m. Friday. This enabled two DOFAW and two Kauai Fire Department trucks to reach the west and north flanks of the fire and begin to battle the fire. The first responders continued their efforts until approximately 2 a.m. Saturday and then returned to their respective stations.

At daybreak Saturday 11 DOFAW firefighters and the Kauai area forestry manager returned to the scene and resumed their firefighting efforts.

Air 1 arrived on scene at 7:30 a.m. to do water drops and three bulldozers and a water tender contracted by DOFAW arrived about an hour later to assist.

According to a preliminary investigation, the fire started on the side of Kokee Road just before the “hairpin turn” roughly one mile up from the base of the roadway. The fire then traveled all the way up to Pokii Ridge where it continues to burn.

The cause of the fire is not known.

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