HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Fire Department and partner agencies continue to battle the fire in Mililani Mauka, which they said has slowed significantly.
HFD said the fire grew in size, from around 710 acres to 800 Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 1.
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On Thursday, Nov. 2, HFD said that the fire has impacted 800 acres and is only 30% contained. However, HFD did indicate that they believe that conditions are now in their favor to get it under control.
The fire is burning in a remote area of Mililani Mauka and remains 30% contained.
There is no threat to homes or structures as the fire continues moving east, away from the Mililani Mauka area.
HFD announced at around 7:30 p.m. that firefighting efforts have been suspended as flames burn in the remote area however crews will continue to monitor with its drone team. They will do air surveys beginning 7 a.m. on Thursday.
DOFAW ground crews were working on accessing the west end of the fire to assess the area while HFD investigates the cause of the fire.
The public is advised to shelter in place, preferably with air conditioning if they’re feeling effects from the smoke.
Area residents said there is still a spooky feeling even though Halloween has come and gone.
“Could see a plume of orange smoke,” said Mililani-Mauka resident Lyle McMillan, “it’s had an impact on not only dropping ashes all over our neighborhood here, but also breathing issues even though it’s miles away.”
HFD said Wednesday afternoon that flames were one mile away from the closest home and moving away from residential areas, but even walking down the block can be tough for some.
“Actually started choking a little bit, coughing up,” Mililani-Mauka resident Ilia Patildzanov said. “Sometimes like right now, it’s not too shabby, I guess the way the winds are blowing but at night, like last night, you can pretty much almost taste smoke. It was not very good at all.”
Emergency Medical Services deployed an air monitoring truck on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and officials said the air quality was good at the time. It is not clear when the truck will be used again but EMS chief Dr. Jim Ireland said it is on standby.
“But right now it’s from our standpoint, it’s more of just a standing by and coming and responding if we’re needed,” Dr. Ireland said in a news conference Tuesday.
EMS said there were no calls for breathing issues on Wednesday, Nov. 1 but the Fire Department had some advice if residents or their loved ones start to feel effects from smoke.
“We do recommend that if people have any breathing issues or medical conditions that they shelter in place or get into an area that has air conditioning,” HFD fire captain Jamie Song said.
Two HFD helicopters, an Army Black Hawk and Chinook along with an Air National Guard Chinook and aircraft from the Department of Land and Natural Resources are fighting the fire by air.
“Hopefully they can get that under control sooner than later, but yeah, a lot of people are kind of a little worried,” Patildzanov said.
“The light winds, the green fuel are all working in our favor right now,” Song said. “Our community is not in danger, there’s no structures in danger so it’s, we’re in a good place right now.”
HFD was asked about the cause of the blaze and officials said investigators got to the scene of where the fire started on Wednesday — KHON2 will continue to press officials until there is an answer.