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POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hilo, Hawaii — There continues to be improvement with the wildland fire as the Hawaii Island first responder “team of teams” continues their efforts today by maintaining a close watch on the fire lines, creating and reinforcing fire breaks, securing fire lines with burning operations, and conducting numerous bucket drops with five U.S. Army helicopters from Oahu.

Ground units are patrolling the fire lines and extinguishing any hot spots that may threaten containment, which is currently assessed at approximately 50%. No significant threatening hotspots were witnessed today, however, helicopters proactively dropped thousands of gallons of water in areas that were still smoking, most of which were well within the burn area.

Air operations consisting of Bambi water bucket drops continue today. Yesterday, the five U.S. Army helicopters from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, based out of Wheeler Army Airfield on Oahu, performed 163-bucket drop operations utilizing 2 x CH-47 Chinooks, 2 x UH-60 Blackhawks, and 1 x HH-60 Blackhawk dropping more than 123,000 gallons for the day. The total amount of bucket drop operations for this fire is nearly 200-bucket drops or 160,000 gallons of water.

“This team effort truly made a difference. We are very proud of the diverse group of fire fighters here from across the Hawaii Island first responder team of teams, who have fought this fire tirelessly from the beginning,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin, Commander U.S. Army Garrison Pohakuloa.
“With the unified command center serving as the hub of communications and planning, we are grateful for the fluid communications and partnership across this team of teams,” Cronin said.

For more information, contact U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Public Affairs Mike Donnelly at 808-656-3160 or michael.o.donnelly.civ@army.mil.