Thursday, August 11, 2005

Vince - Our Favorite Firefighter!

Our friend Vince, an Army 1LT stationed in Hawaii, was called to help put out this fire. The picture on the left is Vince's "bird".
Below is the August 4th article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

Makua Valley blazeburns an estimated300 acres

No apparent harm came to anycultural sites or endangered species, the Army says

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Army officials said they are investigating the cause of a brush fire -- the first one in two years -- that burned as much as 300 acres of the Makua Valley Military Reservation yesterday.
It appears the flames did not damage any cultural or historical sites or endangered plants or animals, Army officials said.
Army spokeswoman Capt. Juanita Chang said there was no training or Army operations taking place in the 4,190-acre valley. Police shut down Farrington Highway from 2 to 4 p.m. near Makua Cave.
"We have no reason to believe that any cultural resources or the heiau were damaged," Chang said.
The brush fire also was not to believed to have been near the habitats of 32 endangered plants, two endangered birds, one endangered bat and one endangered snail that live in Makua and along the ridge line.
A survey by Army environmental and cultural staff members will be conducted.
Chang said the fire is believed to have started about 12:50 p.m. yesterday and came close to jumping the fence along Farrington Highway. It was discovered by Army civilian workers and contained three hours later.
About six city firetrucks responded but did not go into the valley, which is on federal land, fire Capt. Emmit Kane said. The fire units were deployed along the perimeter of the military training area to monitor the fire.
Chang said a Black Hawk and OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters were called in to drop water on the brush fire, along with the city Fire Department's Hughes 500 helicopter.
Chang said the fire was contained to an area adjacent to what is known as the "firebreak road," which runs through the center of the training area.
She said the fire climbed through the floor of the valley to the base of the Waianae Mountains. Only limited Army and Marine Corps training has taken place in the valley, a military training facility since the 1920s.
The last big blaze in the valley occurred July 22, 2003, when winds fanned a controlled burn that was lit by the Army to clear 500 acres. Instead, the winds pushed the flames across 2,200 acres.
In September 1998 a misfired mortar during a Marine training exercise landed outside a firebreak road and started a fire that burned 800 acres. There have been at least 270 accidental brush fires in Makua since 1970.

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