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Police investigate brush fires

LIHUE — Kauai police and fire officials are investigating a string of brush fires and are reminding residents to be vigilant about fire safety.

“The proximity and frequency of these fires are a cause for concern,” said Fire Chief Robert Westerman.

“While we are very fortunate that there were no injuries, we continue to remind the public that brush fires can escalate very quickly and it’s important to remember basic fire safety tips.”

About 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters were dispatched to the northern end of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae multi-use path, where they found grass burning in a ravine below the Kealia Kai estate.

Due to the location of the fire and limited ground access, Air 1 assisted with water drops and the fire was under control shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Firefighters extinguished hot spots until about 9:45 p.m., but returned to the same location Wednesday morning to respond to a flare-up.

Less than one acre of brush was burned, and no injuries or damage to structures were reported.

Around 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, firefighters from the Kapaa fire station were dispatched to Anahola Beach where a small section of grass and driftwood was in flames. The fire was deemed under control at 8:30 p.m.

It was also reported earlier this week that firefighters extinguished a 30-acre brush fire that broke out below Pilipoli Road in Anahola on Monday evening.

No injuries or damage to structures were reported with these fires.

However, a large pile of abandoned waste, such as derelict vehicles and tires, continued to smolder through the night, causing a disruption to nearby residents.

The initial cause of the Anahola and Kealia fires remain under investigation.

“These incidents are not being taken lightly,” stated Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry.

“We strongly advise the public to be watchful of suspicious activity and to call police immediately with any leads before this threat increases.”

Anyone with information on these incidents is urged to contact Police Dispatch at 241-1711 or Detective David Banquel at 241-1680.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call CrimeStoppers at 246-8300.

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