200-acre Helemano brush fire burned for nearly 7 hours
Army fire crews remained on scene overnight after a massive brush fire at the Helemano Military Reservation burned for nearly seven hours on Thursday.
Fire officials say the 200-acre fire started just before noon at the intersection of Kamehameha Highway and Paalaa Uka Puukea Road.
All roads were reopened just after 7 p.m.
Fire officials say grass and brush was burning in fallow agricultural land. No developed properties were threatened.
The U.S. Army was doing a controlled burn which got out of hand, according to fire officials.
The U.S. Army released the following statement:
This was a test burn coordinated between Colorado State University contracted by the U.S. Army, the landowner Dole Food Company, and U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii's Wildland Fire Program. The purpose of the test plots was to observe fire behavior of Guinea grass. This information assists the Army with future prevention and control of Guinea grass fires on its training areas. This data also provides foundational information useful to other fire fighters, planners and responders throughout Hawaii.
The plan was to burn four separate test plots, 50 x 75 meters, located in a fallow agricultural field owned by the Dole Food Company, between Helemano Military Reservation and Kamehameha Highway.
Changing weather conditions took the fire out of prescription. U.S. Army assets, Honolulu Fire Department and the Federal Fire Department responded to the incident. The incident is under investigation.
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