Hawaii Island police renew call for tips after string of suspicious brush fires

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The Hawaii Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying anyone who may have information about the cause of 10 suspicious fires over the past month and a half.

The fires were located on Kaiminani Drive, in the vicinity of the Ane Keohokalole Highway, the area north of Puuanahulu along Hawaii Belt Road (also known as Route 190) and the 6-mile marker, and in the area of the 49-mile marker on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (New Saddle Road).

On Jan. 20 at approximately 3:25 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Ane Keohokalole Highway approximately one-half mile north of Kaiminani Drive. Fire personnel extinguished that fire, which burned more than 200 acres of vegetation and dry brush.

On Feb. 11 at approximately 3:17 p.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the north side of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway near the 49-mile marker. As emergency personnel were working to extinguish that fire, three additional brush fires were reported along Route 190, in the areas of the 17-mile marker, the 15-mile marker, and the 14-mile marker. Fire personnel were able to extinguish those fires, which burned more than 300 acres of vegetation and brush.

Crews responded to three fires on Feb. 17:

12:06 a.m.: Police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Route 190 near the 17-mile marker. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned an approximate 200-foot-by-20-foot area of vegetation and dry brush.

12:17 a.m.: Police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Route 190 in the area of the 10-mile marker, just north of the Waikoloa Road intersection. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned an approximate 10-foot-by-10-foot area of vegetation and dry brush.

12:42 a.m.: Police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Route 190 in the area of the 18-mile marker. Fire personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned an undetermined area of vegetation and dry brush.

On Feb. 18 at approximately 2:29 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the mauka side of Route 190 in the area of the 6-mile marker, near the Old Saddle Road intersection. Fire personnel were able to quickly extinguish that fire, which burned approximately one acre of vegetation and dry brush.

On March 3 at approximately 11:13 a.m., police and firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire on the south side of Kaiminani Drive near Ane Keohokalole Highway. Fire personnel were able to extinguish that fire, which burned an approximate 100-foot-by-30 area of vegetation and dry brush.

No structures have been damaged nor were any injuries reported as a result of any of the fires. The total extent of the burned property has yet to be determined.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigations Section, along with Hawaii County fire inspectors, have deemed the fires as suspicious in nature and continue to investigate their cause.

The Hawaii Police Department asks members of the public who frequent Hawaii Belt Road, especially in the areas of Kaiminani Drive in the vicinity of Ane Keohokalole Highway, the Daniel K. Inouye Highway in the vicinity of the 49-mile marker, and Route 190 between the 6-mile marker and the 14-mile marker, to be aware of the recent fires and to report any suspicious activity in the area immediately to police at 935-3311.

In addition, anyone with any information about the cause of the fires is encouraged to contact Detective Levon Stevens, at 326-4646, extension 275, or Levon.Stevens@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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