DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
ALLAN A. SMITH, INTERIM CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
DLNR Closes Kahauale'a NAR Due To Volcanic Activity
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has closed the entire Kahauale`a Natural Area Reserve (NAR) until further notice due to a shift in eruptive activity at Kilauea Volcano. The present lava flow is wholly contained within the Kahauale`a NAR and is extremely dangerous. The entire area around Pu`u `O`o is extremely hazardous as well. Each of the last two volcanic collapses at Pu`u `O`o has significantly destabilized the edges of the lava flow and there are many new land cracks apparent.
The new eruption continues in the area of Pu`u Kahauale`a and Kupaianaha and has formed a number of perched lava ponds. These pond surfaces are perched up to 15 meters above ground level, and when their edges breach, it sends a lava flow moving radially from the pond. These breaches have already occurred 3 times and should be considered extremely hazardous and deadly to people in the immediate area.
Toxic fumes from the eruptive activity also pose a health hazard.
The Captain’s Trail also known as the Pu`u `O`o Trail and Kahauale`a Trail is closed. The Hawaii County Fire Department has performed numerous rescues in this area in the past. Individuals have been severely injured or killed falling in land cracks.
DLNR is asking the public to heed this warning and stay out of the area. This closure has been put in place to protect the public and the lives of those that would be put at risk to rescue lost or injured parties.
Enforcement officers from DLNR's, Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement will be patrolling the area regularly.
Kahauale`a NAR was established in 1987 and includes 16,726 acres.
For the most up to date information about the eruption of Kilauea Volcano, visit the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory web page: http://volcano.wr.usgs.gov/hvostatus.php. For general information about closures for trails and Natural Area Reserves on the Big Island, Call DLNR's Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 974-4221.
For more information, contact: