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Update on Yesterday’s Brush Fire in Waimea

Situation Found at Scene: Brush Fire 90% contained with minimal to no active burning. Just numerous hot spots inside of the fire break and through the fire area.

Remarks: 5 personnel recalled for night watch (7/7). This morning 2 dozers began finishing up the fire break around the North/N East portions of the fire. Fire personnel continued to do “Mop Up” Operations around the perimeter of the fire. Chopper-2 provided aerial recon missions and conducted Water Bucket Drops throughout the day. Dozers completed the Fire Break by nightfall, fire 100% contained by 1800hrs (7/8). Recall personnel providing night watch for 7/8.

Coast Guard Searching for Owner of Adrift Dive Float Off Oahu

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help identifying the owner of a dive float and flag found adrift and unmanned about 2 miles off of Sand Island Beach, Saturday.

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s help identifying the owner of a dive float and flag found adrift and unmanned about 2 miles off of Sand Island Beach, July 8, 2017. Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the dive float is asked to contact Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600. (Courtesy photo/Released)

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout for signs of distress.

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched to search the area along with crews from the Honolulu Fire Department and Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services.

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the dive float is asked to contact Sector Honolulu at 808-842-2600.

At 5:02 p.m., watchstanders from the Sector Honolulu command center received notification from a good Samaritan aboard the tug Capt Les Esam, that they recovered a dive float. The good Samaritan stated the dive float was red and included a dive flag, blue bodyboard, and was in good condition.

It is recommended owner’s of watersports equipment write their name and phone number on their gear. The Coast Guard offers free “If Found” decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

60+ Hikers Cited or Warned for Trespassing on Kohala Forest Reserve

More than 60 hikers were either cited or warned today for trespass into the closed Kohala Forest Reserve on Hawai‘i island. A team of eight officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) wrote citations to 49 adults and gave written warnings to 14 hikers under the age of 18.

Social media has popularized the so-called White Road hike, even though the forest reserve it passes through has been closed since shortly after a 2007 earthquake. DOCARE North Hawai‘i Supervisor Verl Nakama said, “People don’t realize this is a dangerous hike and if you get hurt there’s no cell service and help can be a long ways off.” He hopes people who got citations today, requiring court appearances, will help spread the word that there are numerous, equally as stunning, safe and legal hikes across the state.

This waterflume has been featured as part of the White Road Hike.

For most hikers trespassing into the forest reserve, their destination is a water flume on the Kohala ditch that drops 35 feet into a small, shallow pool. Officers say it’s amazing no one has been hurt sliding down the flume. In addition to trespassing onto closed DLNR lands hikers pass through private land, Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) property, and across physical features under the jurisdiction of the Dept. Of Agriculture (DOA).

As officers took individuals or small groups of hikers aside to explain why they were being cited, they asked if the trespassers crawled over two locked gates and noticed numerous closed and no trespassing signs? In every instance each hiker said yes, they’d ignored the gates and signs.

DLNR plans to inform travel oriented websites and blogs that post encouragements to ignore the law, to inform their readers that they will be cited if they trespass into the Kohala Forest Reserve and the restricted Kohala watershed. Hunters and others with valid permits from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) can legally enter the reserve as long as they are engaged in activity listed on their permits. “Shooting the flume is never one of those activities and is just one of the dangers trespassers don’t often take into account”, according to Nakama. DOCARE plans additional, unannounced sweeps in the future.

Puna’s Democratic Delegate Loses Long Fight With Brain Cancer

Yesterday, Puna resident Timothy (Tim) Law passed away from his long fight with brain cancer.

Tim Law

Tim ran for District 5 County Council back in 2014 and was active in the Democratic Party here on this island.  In 2016 he served as Puna’s Delegate at the State Democratic Party Convention.

Tim was a father, a husband, an activist and a surfer who loved the ocean.  He was active in the Pahoa Community and his wife Susan will probably remain active in the community.

Prayers go out to his Ohana as they carry on the torch.