Mauna Loa Road has been closed at the gate near Kīpukapuaulu parking area as a very high fire danger risk has been determined on Mauna Loa.
Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park officials say that the closure will last until further notice.
Non-motorized day use such as hiking and bicycling will be permitted, and backcountry camping on Mauna Loa will continue with a permit.
Open fires, including charcoal cooking fires, are prohibited at the Kīpukapuaulu picnic area, and Kilauea Military Camp. Propane or gas cooking stoves are permitted.
“The strong winds and dry weather over the past week has led to a rapid escalation of fire danger on Mauna Loa, and fire danger indexes have reached critical thresholds at the Mauna Loa weather station,” said Fire Management Officer Greg Funderburk.
Hot components on motor vehicles have historically contributed to the increased risk of fire. By reducing the number of vehicles in high-risk areas, the park can mitigate the potential for a catastrophic event.
NPD file image. Hikers on Mauna Loa trail.