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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Posted: Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 8:57 AM HST

Hwy 11 in Pahala now open as crews contine the fight against wildfire

By Ken Hupp - 67AM KPUA News

UPDATE: Highway 11 in Pahala is now open to traffic in both directions.

Firefighters are continuing to work around the clock in an effort to stop a wildfire that has scorched more than 4,000 acres in Pahala. The blaze, located on the makai side of Highway 11 broke out Monday in a macadamia nut orchard and continues to spread
northeast toward Hilo. Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Arbles told KPUA News that the fire is being aggressively fought.

“We’re using our bucket drops with our chopper and bulldozer operations and trying to situate our apparatus in the right location,” Arbles said.

The fire, which is about 40-percent contained, forced the closure of Highway 11 or Mamalahoa Highway in Pahala between mile markers 46 and 51. The road remains closed today, which is adding to the frustration level according to Arbles.

“Right now, it’s the road closure that’s creating a problem for the people living in the community,” Arbles said.

A second fire on the mauka side broke out Monday afternoon along Cane Haul Road above Pahala. Officials say it has burned about 400 acres and is about 60 percent contained.

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