Big Island police seeking information on suspicious fires

Published On: Dec 05 2013 03:28:30 PM HST
Updated On: Dec 05 2013 03:37:08 PM HST

DLNR

Wildfire in Puu Anahulu game management area, island of Hawaii. State fire crews contained the fire near Hwy. 190 mile marker after two days. Size was 558 acres in grassland.

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -

Big Island police are asking for the public's help in identifying anyone who may have information about the cause of half a dozen recent suspicious fires over the past two weeks.

The fires were located south of Pu'uanahulu along Hawai'i Belt Road, also known as Route 190, in the areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (New Saddle Road) and the 14-mile marker.

On Nov. 25 at approximately 3:33 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawai'i Belt Road in the area of the 14-mile marker in Kona. Upon arrival, they discovered that the fire had spread north from the mauka side of the roadway toward the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, approximately four miles east and approximately two miles south along Hawai'i Belt Road.

On Nov. 26 at 3:54 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawai'i Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Pu'uanahulu. Upon arrival, they discovered that the fire had spread from the mauka side of the roadway and headed south in the direction of the Puu Lani Ranch subdivision, burning approximately 150 acres of vacant land.

As emergency personnel were working to extinguish that fire, another brush fire was reported in the area of the 23-mile marker, also on Hawai'i Belt Road. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned approximately a quarter of an acre.

On Nov. 28 at 5:50 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawai'i Belt Road in the area of the 16-mile marker in the area of Pu'uanahulu. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned an undetermined amount of vacant land.

On Monday at 4:23 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the makai side of Hawai'i Belt Road in the area of the 24-mile marker in the area of Pu'uanahulu. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 2,000 square feet of vacant land.

On Wednesday at 6:28 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Hawai'i Belt Road in the area of the 17-mile marker in the area of Pu'uanahulu. Upon arrival, emergency personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned approximately 4,800 square feet of vacant land.

No structures have been damaged nor were any in close proximity to any of the fires. The total extent of the burned property has yet to be determined.

Detectives along with Hawai'i County fire inspectors, have deemed the fires as suspicious in nature and continue to investigate their cause.

The Hawai'i Police Department asks members of the public who frequent Hawai'i Belt Road, especially in the areas between the Daniel K. Inouye Highway and the 24-mile marker, to be aware of the recent fires and to report any suspicious activity in the area immediately to police at 935-3311. In addition, anyone with any information about the cause of the fires is encouraged to contact Detective Levon Stevens, at 326-4646, extension 275, or lstevens@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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