Big Island fire remains out of control
LAUPAHOEHOE, Hawaii The county may ask for Hawaii National Guard helicopters today to help battle a runaway brushfire that has snarled traffic along the Hamakua coast for two days.
The North Hilo blaze that broke out shortly after noon on Wednesday remained out of control yesterday afternoon. Traffic was restricted to one lane at Kaawali Gulch north of Laupahoehoe.
The National Guard has responded in the past to difficult brushfires because its larger helicopters can carry greater volumes of water to douse hot spots.
The cause of the fire had not been determined as of yesterday. More than 50 acres has burned, according to estimates.
Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions as police allowed vehicles to move in caravans of 100 cars each while emergency equipment took up the inside lane, battling the stubborn blaze on the mauka side of the twisting road.
"The problem in controlling it is so much of the area now burning is inaccessible," said Civil Defense Administrator Bill Davis.
Detectives identify Hilo gunshot victim
PEPEEKEO, Hawaii Big Island detectives have identified a South Hilo man found dead from a gunshot wound Wednesday as Kallen James Agliam, 19, of Pepeekeo. They are investigating the case as a homicide.
A fisherman found Agliams body at 5:17 p.m Wednesday alongside a former C. Brewer and Co. canefield road near the Hilo Coast Power Co., about eight miles north of Hilo.
Police did not say where he was shot or by what kind of a weapon. An autopsy was pending yesterday at Hilo Medical Center. No one was in custody.
Lt. Derek Diego said police will continue their investigation and said anyone with information is aked to call CrimeStoppers Hawaii in Hilo at 961-8300.
Helicopter pilot injured in flight
LIHUE, Kauai A helicopter pilot was injured during a test flight at Lihue Airport yesterday.
The Safari Helicopters aircraft, which had no passengers aboard, tipped on its side and crashed on its pad, apparently because of a failure in the hydraulic system. The malfunction caused the loss of rear rudder control, police said.
The pilot, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries to his arm and was not hospitalized, police said.
Woman critical after near-drowning
LIHUE, Kauai A 63-year-old visitor from British Columbia was in critical condition at Wilcox Hospital yesterday after being rescued Wednesday in the waters off Poipu.
Police said the woman, whose name was not released, ran into difficulty while snorkeling off Poipu Beach Park around 10 a.m. She was brought to shore by members of her snorkeling group, and was taken to the hospital.
General Plan workshops coming
HILO, Hawaii The Hawaii County Planning Department has announced a second round of community workshops on the proposed General Plan amendments.
The document has become so fluid, printed copies of the draft are not available. It can only be accessed on the Hawaii County Web site at: www.co.Hawaii.hi.us/general_plan_rev/main.htm.
Norman Hayashi, senior planner, said the eight meetings will begin at 7 p.m. Monday at the Hawaii County Council Room in Hilo and continue through Feb. 27 at the Naalehu School Cafeteria in Kau.
The other workshops are Feb. 7 at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria in North Kona, Feb. 8 at Keaau Elementary School Cafeteria in Puna, Feb. 12 Honokaa High School Cafeteria in Hamakua, Feb. 14 at Konawaena Elementary School Cafeteria in South Kona, Feb. 20 at Kohala High School Cafeteria in North Kohala and Feb. 26 at Waimea Elementary School in South Kohala.
Further information is available from Hayashi at (808) 961-8288.
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