HONOLULU (KHON2) — Parts of Mauna Loa Road and Hilina Pali Road at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will remain closed to cars until further notice in an effort to prevent wildfires.
The National Park Service says despite ample rainfall in other parts of East Hawaii, Hilina Pali Road has only received about half an inch since June 1. Dry grasses and shrubs along the road are causing officials to be concerned for potential fire danger.
Similar conditions were observed on Mauna Loa Road, which will be closed to vehicles from the gate at Kīpukapuaulu to the Mauna Loa Lookout.
Hilina Pali Road will be closed from the Kulanaokuaiki Campground to the Hilina Pali Lookout.
In addition, open fires will be prohibited at Nāmakanipaio campground, Kīpukapuaulu picnic area and Kilauea Military Camp until further notice. Propane or gas cooking stoves will be allowed.
“Staying safe while protecting the natural and cultural resources of the park is our top priority,” said Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Fire Management Officer Greg Funderburk. “Fire danger indexes in both areas are above the 90th percentile and any ignitions that occur would be difficult to suppress and likely to result in a large fire.”
Pedestrians and bicyclists may continue to use both roads, and backcountry permit holders will be provided access to trailheads.