HVNP Investigates Namakanipaio Campground Fire

Smoke obscures the koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest at Nāmakanipaio Campground on Tuesday afternoon. NPS Photo/Luke Kittle.

Fire officials at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are seeking witnesses to a fire on Tuesday afternoon that burned about a quarter acre of native koa and ‘ōhi‘a forest behind a cabin at Nāmakanipaio Campground.

The fire started behind Cabin 3 shortly before 3 p.m., and was human-caused, according to HVNP officials. A female and several children told firefighters they saw how it started, but left the scene before anyone could get her name and contact information.

The fire was quickly doused with water by County of Hawai‘i Engine 19, Volcano volunteer company 19, and National Park Service resources. No structures were burned, although flames came close to Cabin 3. No closures or evacuations were required.

An investigation is underway. Witnesses and anyone with information about the fire are encouraged to call Park Dispatch at 808-985-6170. Callers may remain anonymous.

“With a hot and dry summer upon us, we’re definitely at an increased risk for fire in the park, and across the island,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Fire Management Officer Greg Funderburk. “It’s important to remember that while parts of the island might be getting rainfall, other areas are very dry and quite susceptible to fire,” he said.