Hawaii Volcanoes National Park officials have closed Mauna Loa Road at the gate near Kipukapuaulu parking area until further notice because of what the park called “very high fire danger” in a written statement.
Non-motorized day use such as hiking and bicycling will be permitted, and backcountry camping on Mauna Loa is allowed with a permit.
Open fires, including charcoal cooking fires, are prohibited at the Kipukapuaulu 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, the statement said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald