Hawaii ravaged by brush fires in fresh devastation for Big Island during volcano eruption

Hawaii ravaged by brush fires in fresh devastation for Big Island during volcano eruption

19 July 2018

Published by https://www.express.co.uk/

USA – The fires emerged in the north of the Big Island at about 8.15am BST (9.15pm Wednesday local time), just a day after 122 acres of land were engulfed in a blaze near Punaluu Black Sand Beach in the south of the island.

Hawaii is no stranger to fast spreading bush fires. In winter they are extinguished by damp vegetation, but the Kilauea eruption has made it warmer on the island, making it easier for the blazes to spread.

July is in the middle of Hawaii’s “dry” season, meaning less rainfall and hot summer temperatures have both contributed to the spread of bush fires on the island.

The eruption of Kilauea in may this year has caused significant damage to the island, with more than 20 fissures in the area surrounding the mountain appearing.

Most of the fissures are dormant, but Fissure 8, the most aggressive of the landscape cracks, has been spewing lava, at times more than 150 feet into the air.

The lava has carved a new channel in to the landscape, as it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean.

When it comes into contact with sea water, it creates a highly dangerous, toxic byproduct called laze.

It is highly corrosive and combines steam and volcanic glass and can cause severe irritation, lung damage and breathing difficulties.

Last week, a new island had formed in the pacific, which had been formed from lava hitting the ocean floor.

On Monday, 23 people aboard a tourist boat were injured after a “basketball sized” lava “bomb” tore through the roof of the vessel.

The ocean entry point, where the passengers were injured, is already known as a violently reactive area where water and lava are creating plumes of laze.

Journeying into the area is hazardous and unpredictable, especially since large volumes of lava are sinking into the sea.

The lava bomb identified by the passengers was thought to be a ball of hot lava which immediately cooled and exploded on contact with the cold water, sending hardened magma into the boat.

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