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Aloha State Wildfires- 2003

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  • Aloha State Wildfires- 2003

    HONOLULU (AP) - A fire intentionally set by the Army to clear
    training areas in Makua Valley was burning out of control on
    Wednesday, covering three times the area intended, the Mary said.
    As of midday, about 2,500 acres had burned, covering more than
    half the military reservation on northwest Oahu, which has been the
    subject of an environmental lawsuit.
    The Army had planned a controlled burn of no more than 900 acres
    Tuesday morning on land used for live-fire training, officials
    said.
    In announcing its plans, the Army said it had considered the
    area's drought conditions and decided that timing was ideal because
    "burns are more successful when conditions are dry."
    But three hours later winds kicked up and the fire began to
    spread. Witnesses said the fire swept through neighboring
    Kahanahaiki Valley and shot up the north valley wall to Peacock
    Flats.
    The fire also jumped Farrington Highway in two places Tuesday,
    stopping only at the sand on Makua Beach, said Waianae resident
    William Aila Jr.
    "Of the three valleys that make up Makua Military reservation,
    I would say 70 percent is either burned or currently burning,
    including all the way up to ridges where several areas of
    biological concerns - endangered species - have been burned," he
    said.
    A sudden change in the speed and direction of the wind may have
    caused the fire to burn out of control, said Capt. Steve Wollman, a
    spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division.
    The Army, Federal Fire Department and Honolulu Fire Department
    were working to control the fire. Army helicopters were dumping
    water on the blaze.
    The fire brought angry reaction from community activists who
    have opposed military use of the valley.
    A coalition led by the American Friends Service Committee said
    the fire destroyed many acres of habitat for native plants and
    animals and may have killed or harmed critically endangered
    species.
    Kyle Kajihiro, a spokesman for the group, called the fire "a
    disaster."
    The group is calling for the military to end its training in
    Makua and clean up and restore all "contaminated sites to the
    safest possible level."
    The Waianae Coast community group Malama Makua noted that
    another "controlled" burn in June 1995 charred hundreds of acres
    in Makua Valley.
    "The Army said it couldn't possibly happen again, that they had
    made improvements in firefighting. But this is even worse," the
    group said in a statement.
    The group said an October 2001 court order it obtained requires
    the Army to prepare a comprehensive environmental impact statement
    for live-fire training and related activities at Makua, such as
    controlled burns.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    Contained July 24th

    HONOLULU (AP) - A brush fire that got out of control and
    scorched more than half of the Makua Military Reservation in
    Leeward Oahu has been contained, an Army spokesman said.
    Army helicopters were to drop water on remaining hot spots on
    Thursday, said Capt. Steve Wollman of the 25th Infantry Division.
    The Army set what was to be a controlled burn of 800-900 acres
    Tuesday morning. But winds picked up speed and changed direction by
    midafternoon and the fire got out of control.
    The blaze eventually destroyed 2,500 acres, Wollman said. It
    crossed Farrington Highway and burned 10 acres of public lands near
    the ocean before it was contained late Wednesday.
    Gina Shultz, assistant field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and
    Wildlife Service in Hawaii, said the area that burned is known to
    be the habitat of the endangered Oahu tree snail and the Oahu
    elepaio, a native forest bird.
    Makua and Kahanahaiki Valleys, which make up the military
    reservation, are home to about 40 endangered plant species, Shultz
    said.
    A botanist and ornothologist from Fish and Wildlife were at
    Makua with Army environmentalists on Thursday making an assessment
    of the damage to flora and fauna, Shultz said.
    The Army will not know until all the flames are extinguished
    whether any of the valley's cultural or historical sites were
    damaged, said Col. David Anderson, U.S. Army Hawaii Garrison
    commander.
    The assessment will be "a time-consuming process," Wollman
    said.
    The environmental group Earthjustice sued the Army in federal
    court in December 2000 on behalf of the Waianae community group
    Malama Makua to force the Army to prepare an environmental impact
    statement. A year later, the Army agreed to do an EIS and was
    allowed to use the training range as long as no rockets or other
    incendiary devices were fired.
    Earthjustice attorney David Henkin said the Army needs to modify
    the EIS it is working on to justify continue live-fire operations
    in Makua Valley and related activities such as Tuesday's controlled
    burn.
    The fire shows that the Army's fire management plan does not
    work, Henkin said.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

    Comment


    • #3
      8/16

      HONOLULU (AP) - A brush fire along the Waianae Coast covered
      some 1,700 acres before being brought under control Saturday.
      For a time, the blaze that erupted Friday night threatened the
      Air Force's Kaena Point Satellite Tracking Station.
      Nearly 100 city and federal firefighters battled the blaze that
      came to within 300 feet of the multimillion-dollar facility.
      "The fire department had given directions to be prepared to
      evacuate from certain buildings there at our facility, " Maj.
      Kevin Lackey said. "But fortunately, we didn't have to do that."
      Several helicopters, including some provided by the Army and the
      Hawaii Air National Guard, were used to make water drops on the
      flames that were fanned by stiff winds.
      The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
      It was located in a valley next to Makua Valley, where a July 22
      brush fire scorched some 2,100 acres. That fire was caused by a
      controlled burn that was blown outside the designated area by high
      winds.
      Meanwhile, a brush fire on Molokai was reported contained
      Saturday night after covering a 3,000-acre area since Tuesday.
      A single tanker and engine crew remained at the scene putting
      out hot spots as other weary firefighters rested from a day of
      battling the flames.
      Strong winds spread the blaze after it broke out in a Hoolehua
      field across from Molokai High School.
      One farm structure was destroyed and several fences were
      damaged. A firefighter was treated for back pain at Molokai General
      Hospital on Thursday when a water hose blew and knocked him over.

      (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment

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