Hawaii DLNR Statement on Arrest of Officer

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement  (DOCARE) will cooperate with the Hawaii Police Department criminal investigation.

DOCARE will also conduct its own internal investigation.

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson has been a Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officer (CREO) since June 27, 2013

He is still in custody and has been served with a letter of removal of police authority, and is being put on administrative leave with pay, pending adjudication.

There are 109 DOCARE officers statewide, and 27 on Hawaii Island. DLNR does criminal background checks for prospective employees.

DOCARE officers are responsible for enforcement activities of the Department. The division, with full police powers, enforces all State laws and rules involving State lands, State Parks, historic sites, forest reserves, aquatic life and wildlife areas, coastal zones, Conservation districts, State shores, as well as county ordinances involving county parks. The division also enforces laws relating to firearms, ammunition, and dangerous weapons.

VIDEO – Early Morning Explosive Event at Kilauea Summit Lava Lake

A rockfall on the east rim of the summit vent within Kīlauea Volcano’s Halemaʻumaʻu Crater triggered a small explosive event at 3:51 a.m., HST, on January 8, 2016. Explosive events like this occur more frequently when the lava lake level is relatively high, as it has been this past week—around 30-35 m (100-115 ft) below the vent rim.

explosion 1816b

Rocks in the vent wall expand as they are heated by the high temperature of the lava lake and become unstable. Sections of these unstable rocks can then collapse into the lava lake.

This Quicktime movie shows today’s rockfall as seen from HVO and Jaggar Museum.

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-1280.mov

When large rockfalls impact the lava lake, they trigger explosive events that propel volcanic rock fragments (tephra) upward. This morning’s event was vigorous enough to hurl incandescent fragments onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, about 110 m (360 ft) above the lava lake surface.

explosion 1816a

This Quicktime movie shows some of these fragments flying toward the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam that is perched on the rim of the crater. Rockfalls and subsequent explosive events occur with no warning, and the resulting fragments of hot lava and rocky debris thrown onto the crater rim pose a significant hazard in this area.

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-1281.mov

 

The January 8, 2016, rockfall and subsequent explosive event littered the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with fragments of molten lava. In this image, you can see what remains of the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook wooden fence, which has been repeatedly been bombarded by spatter and rock fragments since 2008. The blue bucket attached to the fence is one of HVO's tephra collectors so that lava fragments and rocky debris ejected from the summit vent can be quantified and analyzed.  (Click to enlarge)

The January 8, 2016, rockfall and subsequent explosive event littered the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with fragments of molten lava. In this image, you can see what remains of the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook wooden fence, which has been repeatedly been bombarded by spatter and rock fragments since 2008. The blue bucket attached to the fence is one of HVO’s tephra collectors so that lava fragments and rocky debris ejected from the summit vent can be quantified and analyzed. (Click to enlarge)

The 10 cm (4-inch) pocket knife in this image provides scale for one of the larger fragments of molten lava that was thrown onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at 3:51 a.m., HST, on January 8, 2016.

pocketknife

So much spatter was ejected to the crater rim this morning that it is hard to discern one lava fragment from another.

Hawaii Civil Defense Releases Updated Map Pinpointing Dengue Fever Cases

This is a Dengue Fever information update for Friday January 8th at 1:30PM.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported no additional confirmed cases since yesterday.  The total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak remains at 210.  These cases include 190 residents and 20 visitors.

Dengue is a virus that is transmitted from an infected person to a mosquito, which can then infect another person. Dengue fever cannot be spread directly from person to person. Of the 210 confirmed cases, 5 are recent and could be in the stage of their illness in which they can infect mosquitoes.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Surveying and spraying is being conducted at the residences of all suspect and confirmed cases, in addition to proactive spraying at nearby public facilities.

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

Hawaii DLNR Officer Charged with Sexual Assault

A law enforcement officer for the State Department of Land and Natural Resources has been charged with five counts of sexual assault.

On January 1, a female minor reported that she was at a beach park in Hilo when the DLNR officer approached her while in uniform and sexually assaulted her.

Ethan Ferguson

Ethan Ferguson

On Thursday (January 7), 39-year-old Ethan Ferguson of Hilo was arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Hawaiʻi Police Department continued the investigation.

At 11:50 a.m. Friday (January 8), Ferguson was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. His bail was set at $13,000.

He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (January 11).

DLNR Holds Public Meetings on Banyan Drive and Kanoelehua Industrial Area Future Plans

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold public meetings this month in Hilo to provide information on studies it has commissioned to assist with the Department’s planning for the future of these areas as current leases expire.

Banyan Drive

DLNR leases out state-owned lands in Hilo, Hawai‘i at Banyan Drive and in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area. Revenue from these leases supports important DLNR programs, including those conducted by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Division of State Parks, Engineering Division, Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, and Commission on Water Resource Management.

One of the leases at Banyan Drive has expired and has been placed on a month-to-month revocable permit. Other leases at Banyan Drive and in the Kanoelehua Industrial Area will expire in the next several years.

The public meeting will include a brief presentation on the studies and members of the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.  The studies are available on the DLNR Land Division website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ld/kanoelehua-and-banyan-drive-studies/  for public review and comment:

Banyan Drive

Goal: Support the Banyan Drive Working Group’s efforts to address the future of Banyan Drive
Objective: Obtain an understanding of conditions, limitations and opportunities for the formulation of revitalization strategies
  • Tourism Market Study – To analyze the tourism industry and determine market demand for a new hotel in Hilo.
  • Sea Level Rise Assessment – To assess sea level rise effects on Banyan Drive parcels.
  • Master Lease Feasibility Analysis – To investigate the feasibility of placing management of Reed’s Bay Hotel, Country Club Condominium, and Uncle Billy’s Hotel under a single master lease.

Kanoelehua Industrial Area

Goal: Improve management effectiveness of DLNR’s Kanoelehua lands
Objective: Obtain an understanding of conditions, limitations and opportunities for the effective management of DLNR’s Kanoelehua lands
  • Market Study – To determine market demand for industrial-commercial uses in the Hilo region for the near- and long-term.
  • Lot Consolidation Analysis – To identify opportunities for consolidating/resubdividing lots to maximize functionality and value for DLNR.
  • Master Lease Feasibility Analysis – To investigate the feasibility and desirability of placing management of DLNR’s Kanoelehua properties under a single master lease.

Both meetings will be held at:

County of Hawai‘i
Aupuni Center
101 Pauahi Street, Suite 1
Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720

  • Kanoelehua Industrial Area – January 15, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Banyan Drive – January 15, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Anyone who is unable to attend the meeting, may download a comment form from the website and send in written comments to the following address.  Please provide your comments by February 1, 2016.

Mail comments to:

Munekiyo Hiraga
KANOELEHUA/BANYAN DRIVE COMMENTS
305 High Street, Suite 104
Wailuku, Hawai‘i 96793

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Lurks Near Surface

In recent days, the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has been at a relatively high level.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This view, looking roughly north-northeast, shows typical behavior, with lava rising into the lake at the distant end opposite the photographer, and sinking all along the base of the crater wall in the foreground and at right. Within this zone of subduction is a site of persistent spattering at the southeast edge of the lava lake, visible at the right edge of the photograph.

Zoomed-in view of the spattering at the southeast corner of the lava lake. The vent wall is overhung in this area.

Zoomed-in view of the spattering at the southeast corner of the lava lake. The vent wall is overhung in this area.

On the morning of January 7 when this photo was taken, the lake was about 35 m or 114 ft below the rim.