North Shore wildfire spreads quickly, threatens endangered species

 
07 June 2017

published by http://www.staradvertiser.com


USA - A fast-growing wildfire in Mokuleia today is heading toward the state Mokuleia Forest Reserve and Pahole Natural Area Reserve, threatening significant natural resources and endangered species, state officials say.

The fire threatens the endangered kahuli, or Hawaiian tree snails, a rare dry forest and a rare mesic forest, Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said in a news release.

The fire has grown from 3 acres at 11 a.m. to 400 acres late this afternoon, said fire Capt. David Jenkins. He predicts the fire will last days.

A DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife crew of 14 firefighters used two water tankers and two helicopter dip tanks to fight the fire in Mokuleia, east of the forest reserve access road and west of Kaala Road.

The Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department launched two helicopters, which have been making water drops.

DOFAW contracted three helicopters, one of which is used to make water drops.

The helicopters are also used to scout the area and transport firefighters.

DLNR officers are turning hikers and bikers away from the Mokuleia Forest Reserve access road to Peacock Flats campground. These areas will remain closed until the fire is contained, DLNR said.

The Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station road is also closed.

The Pahole Natural Area Reserve is a complex valley system in the northern Waianae Mountains known for its diversity. It runs from the summit ridge down to the dry lowlands of Mokuleia.