Hawaii County firefighters continue to fight a brush fire in the Green Sands subdivision near Naalehu.
The call came in at 10:36 a.m. Monday between Pele and Mark Twain streets. Portions of both roads remain closed at this time.
Eighteen firefighters, two bulldozers and two helicopters will fight the 15-acre fire into the night.
Officials say whipping winds are keeping them from calling the fire under control and crews will continue to extinguish flareups.
Nearby residents are being allowed to return to their homes. They were evacuated earlier in the afternoon due to high winds and heavy smoke conditions. No one was reported hurt.
“Just smelling the smoke and it got worse and worse and all of a sudden I could see the smoke,” resident Patti Snyder told KHON2. “I thought, oh man, I better call the fire department back again and I told them where I thought it was and I said, well should I leave because I got ashes coming on my house!”
The fire has already destroyed a large home.
The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Naalehu Community Center and will keep it open through the night as a precaution.
Nine people were there Monday night but left to return to their homes.