Brush fire affecting health of some Waialua residents

Published On: Oct 24 2013 04:46:00 PM HST
WAIALUA, Hawaii -

Some residents on Oahu's North Shore say the smoke from the brush fire at Schofield Barracks is affecting their health and causing a big stink.

Click here to watch Cam Tran's report.

Nearly a half dozen helicopters spent Thursday dropping water on the stubborn fire.

"I visibly saw flames," said Erik Alvarez.  "I saw flames, huge clouds of smoke and I saw helicopters dropping water.  It was pretty crazy."

Alvarez saw what he calls "crazy flames" after the ridge fire ignited Tuesday.

The flames have consumed more than 300 acres of tough mountainous terrain, but the fire is not threatening any homes.

The light winds have caused the haze to linger around what's usuallya clear North Shore.

"It looked like a bunch of fog and smoke that was just hovering right over the street," said Waialua resident Jori Deininger.  "Just lingering around the house. Everything in the house smells like smoke."

And that smoke is making it challenging for these CrossFit Waialua athletes to stay fit indoors.  Deininger says she has to use an asthma inhaler to clear her lungs and some say the haze is affecting their young ones.

"My kids are starting to feel scratchy throat, having problems with stuffy nose," said  Waialua resident Joan Durazzo.  "They feel like they have a cold, but it's not a cold.  It's just the effects of the smoke and scratchy throat and the nastiness."

Some of the residents say the fire is also affecting their safety.  They are saying a lot of drivers are pulling off Kaukonahua Road to watch the fire.

"People pulling over the side just rubber-necking people just seriously pulling out lawn chairs to watch the fire and watch the firemen work," said Durazzo.  "It's kind of ludicrous, but yeah."

And many residents hope the fire will clear soon so they can breathe and drive a little easier.

The Army, who is overseeing the firefighting efforts, says the higher humidity and trades have helped crews get an upper hand on the fire.

PHOTOS: Schofield Barracks brush fire

Click here to see more pictures of the brush fire.


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