09/12/14 – DLNR, OHA Close Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve Due To Lava DangrPosted on Sep 12, 2014 in Forestry & Wildlife, News Releases
DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
WILLIAM J. AILA JR,
For Immediate News Release September 12, 2014
DLNR, OHA CLOSE WAO KELE O PUNA FOREST RESERVE DUE TO LAVA DANGER
Division of Forestry and Wildlife assists County to build escape roads in Puna
HILO — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Land and Natural Resources announce the immediate closure of Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, until further notice, due to the hazards associated with the June 27 lava flow. Wao Kele o Puna is owned by OHA and managed by DLNR.
Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Ka Pouhana, OHA (Chief Executive Officer) said, “It is prudent at this time to close Wao Kele o Puna due to lava activity and subsequent unsafe conditions.
William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson said, “We join with Hawaii Civil Defense and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to warn the public of extreme danger from lava flowing through cracks in Wao Kele O Puna, and Kahauale’a Natural Area Reserve. Both areas are off-limits to all persons. We will prosecute anyone entering these areas for any purpose, including unauthorized lava sightseeing tours. Hikers have been lost or injured in these areas, and personnel called in to rescue them have also been put in danger.”
The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will be assisting Hawaii County to build the alternate roads in Puna.
Lava is estimated to cross Highway 130 in approximately two weeks if it stays on its current path.
DOFAW will provide a D8 bulldozer and equipment operator to Nanawale/Railroad Ave. tomorrow and expect work will take several weeks. Portions of the old railroad right-of-way run through state forest and unencumbered lands. Railroad Ave. bisects Nanawale state Forest Reserve
# # #
Public Information Specialist