SANDY BEACH PARK, Hawaii (KHON2) — Several brush fires on the east side of Oahu have kept firefighters busy since Friday, April 22.

The mountains around Sandy Beach have been a longtime hot spot for the Honolulu Fire Department.

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Most of the mountainside behind Sandy Beach went up in smoke since Sunday, April 24, and the Hawaii Fire Fighters Association said brush fires in the area tend to spike around Summer months.

Part of the current issue: It is simply too dry.

“If it’s green, of course, it burns much slower,” Hawaii Fire Fighters Association Oahu Division chair Andy Fukuda said. Fukuda is also the fire chief for Waipahu. “Wind conditions can also be a big factor, where the fire is, where it starts, I mean, how much fuel load is there? A lot of things can affect how quick a fire spreads and how many days we may be at a particular fire.”

The latest National Weather Service Drought Monitor Map shows moderate drought over Sandy Beach and Waimanalo.

“If it’s green, you know, during the winter months we’ll never have this problem,” Fukuda said. “It’ll just basically confine itself to a smaller area as opposed to, you know, maybe the whole mountainside.”

One bodyboarder said he was catching waves on Sunday until he noticed smoke.

“All of a sudden I looked back at the mountain and there’s just smoke everywhere, you know. And I don’t know, it could be cause it’s super dry out there,” Honolulu resident Tannon Iaea-Kim said.

HFD said there have been 121 brush fires on Oahu in 2022 — 15 of them since Friday, April 22. Another beachgoer said HFD quickly put out a small blaze on Friday, April 29, but one on Sunday took much longer.

“It was huge,” Waianae resident Joseph Kupukaa said. “It came up and over the, over the mountain. It lasted for about, all day actually. Lasted all day, I think even continues to the next morning. It was big, it was one of the bigger ones this year over here.”

Fire officials said they are not sure if recent brush fires were intentionally set, but reminded area residents that clearing the shrub around their home is critical to keeping flames at bay.

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“The brush can start up really quick, a lot quicker than you think,” Fukuda said. “And if you see something, to give us a call. We will get out there faster, the faster we get out there, the faster we can mitigate the problem, the quicker we can put it out. And we may not be there as long as we would if it, you know, people wait.”