HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two homes were confirmed to be destroyed by a rampant wildfire that burned over 400,000 acres of land on Sunday.
Residents say the fire came on quickly and spread fast.
“It flared back up. The wind picked up even stronger and that’s where all the fire started hitting toward the homesteaders, the homestead guys, and that’s when it threatened a lot of our homes,” said Patricia Hodson, Waimea Hawaiian Homestead Association Secretary.
Evacuation shelters were opened at the pavilion at Old Kona Airport in Kailua Kona and Waimea District Park. Residents of Waikoloa Village, Pu’u Kapu Hawaiian Homesteads and Waikii Ranch were ordered to evacuate.
“Nobody slept here because they wanted to protect their homes. They wanted to go back to their homes and watch to make sure that nothing else was damaged,” shared Hodson. “But today most the families up there are not coming out, (they’re not) coming here to get food. We’re taking it to them so we have a water tank here so they come here to fill their water, then we will come out with two cases of water and boxes of food, whatever we can do to feed them. And we have trucks going up there to feed all the firefighters, the volunteers, pretty much all of that effort is throughout the community. We’ve been doing it as a community which Waimea is known for that. The families all come together and help.”
Other residents started battling the blaze themselves and continued saving their neighbors’ homes throughout the day on Sunday.
By 7 p.m. the evacuation order had been lifted. Big Island officials determined that there was no imminent threat to homes in the once evacuated areas.