Hawaii Fire Is Still Out of Control
Nearly 5,000 Big Island residents ordered to flee a huge brush fire were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday, officials said.
However, the fire remained out of control after charring more than 25,000 acres along the Kohala Coast on the west side of the island.
Hawaii County fire officials said no injuries or damage to buildings were reported, but a condominium complex remained threatened. The fire did not threaten hotels in Waikoloa Resort, about six miles away.
The evacuation order had affected about 75% of the town’s 6,500 residents, said Lanny Nakano, acting administrator of the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency. Officials turned a community center and elementary school into evacuation centers, a resort opened its ballroom to evacuees and another school offered dorm rooms.
Linda Harlow told the Honolulu Advertiser that she had little warning.
“We back up to a natural area, and it was burning right outside our home,” she said.
“People were trying to grab what they could. We had like five minutes.”