The eruption of the volcano on the Big Island in Hawaii is certainly tragic for the owners of the 26 homes that have been destroyed and the 1,700 residents of Leilani Estates that have been forced to evacuate. We are not going to try to cover the incident like we would a large vegetation fire — primarily because it is very difficult to obtain the kind of information we would normally collect about a fire. We have made some inquiries with a couple of agencies but distributing information to the media could be pretty far down their list of priorities. They no doubt have their hands full.
But we have found a bit of information about what is going on there. Approximately 104 acres are directly affected by vents, fissures, or 2,000F-degree lava. The activity paused for a bit Monday, but Tuesday morning two additional fissures developed, bringing the total to 14 and requiring the total evacuation of Lanipuna.
Previous eruptions on the island have ignited vegetation fires, but while we have seen some trees and shrubs burning in videos, it seems to mostly be when they are directly contacted by the molten lava.
A friend of ours has been in Hawaii for at least a week and most of the numerous photos he has posted on Facebook have shown cloudy skies. The weather Monday and Tuesday at Hilo included rain with humidities in the 90’s, so until that changes there might not be much of a wildfire threat.
If any of our readers have confirmed information about resources assigned or an Incident Command System being used, let us know in the comments.
I don’t know what Hell looks like, but….. the video below of the lava in the crater is incredible.
— USGS Volcanoes? (@USGSVolcanoes) May 7, 2018
— USGS Volcanoes? (@USGSVolcanoes) May 8, 2018