Yesterday, I had to travel to Hilo to pick up my print from Volcano Art Center. I’ll tell you more about the print in my next post, but on the way over I was stopped by fire crew fighting a small brush fire. It looked like everything was under control. There was no smoke, and the trucks were all starting to leave. I did notice another truck siting on the side of the road 10 miles closer to Pahala. Turns out the fire was spreading and getting bigger. It was big enough to close the road, which delayed the journey home. I kept hearing that the road was closed, but I thought the mile marker of closure was before Pahala town, which would mean that there would be no detour. I passed the time taking photos, bowling and playing air hockey at KMC. It was starting to get late, and it looked like the smoke had changed enough to perhaps be away from the road. On a chance, I drove towards Pahala. It was incredible to see the glow, and the massive size of the fire. This photo was from about 4 miles away. Luckily, a detour was set up in Pahala around the fire, and I made it home safely. The smell of smoke still lingers in the air this morning. I’ve been told that the fire burned more that 650 acres, and Pahala residences evacuated to avoid the smoke. I haven’t heard more about the status of the fire, but I’m hoping everyone is safe and no structures were destroyed.
* Note on the photos: Hand held. So, not as sharp as I would like. Also, it made the Hawai’i New Now webpage. =)