Foul play suspected in dozens of brush fires on Kauai


The Kauai police and fire departments are working with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to investigate brush fires that have been occurring on public property islandwide.

KPD urges anyone with information on the cause of the fires to contact police immediately.

“State and county firefighters have responded to over 40 brush fires since December, from Kekaha to Haena,” said fire chief Robert Westerman. “We are asking the public to be vigilant to help protect their properties and also to report any suspicious activity to police.”

While the exact cause of each fire has not yet been determined, the number of brush fires occurring is unusually high and police suspect foul play.

“At this time, detectives are following up on any and all leads and will continue to investigate incoming information,” stated acting captain of the Investigation Services Bureau Bryson Ponce. “We urge anyone who may have information on a recent brush fire, or anyone who may have witnessed suspicious activity in the area of a fire, to please call police.”

The Kauai Fire Department also offers these tips to reduce the risk of fire around your home:

  • Create a defensible space around your home to protect it from a spreading fire.
  • Prune shrubs and trees so they are away from the home and off the ground.
  • Remove dead leaves and plant material from around your home.
  • Install smoke alarms in every room and test them once a month.
  • Have a fire escape plan and practice it often with all members of the household.
  • Report suspicious activity to police immediately.

“Most of these brush fires are occurring near residential neighborhoods, and it doesn’t take much for a brush fire to turn into a house fire,” Ponce said. “With the community’s assistance, we hope to prevent these fires from continuing and to bring any responsible person(s) to justice.”

Tipsters can call Det. Christian Jenkins at 241-1680 or Police Dispatch at 241-1711.

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