Oahu brush fires close two schools Wednesday

Oahu brush fires close two schools Wednesday

14 August 2007

published by starbulletin.com

Honolulu, HI, USA — A stubborn brush fire on Oahu’s North Shore has forced the closure of two Waianae High School and Makaha Elementary School in Waianae tomorrow.

Smoke from the fire was drifting over the Waianae Mountains and settling in Makaha Valley.

Students at Waianae High School were released from classes early today, and parents of students at Makaha Elementary School were told they could pick up their children early. The Department of Education decided to close the schools tomorrow, a spokesman said.

The out-of-control blaze has covered 7.8 square miles since it began Sunday off Kamehameha Highway near the road to Helemano Military Reservation.

Twenty companies of firefighters worked to keep the fire from spreading over the mountains.

The blaze spread onto Army property this morning, but housing areas at Schofield Barracks weren’t in danger, military officials said.

The fire was generating dense smoke and ash, and could cause an increase in dust by exposing large areas of ground, state health officials said. They urged nearby residents with respiratory or chronic breathing problems to take precautionary measures or to even leave the area.

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