USA – It come as firefighters continue to battle brushfires caused as lava ignites dry vegetation in the south-east of the island.
Axel Kratel has been instrumental in the rescue of numerous domestic and farm animals trapped by lava in remote corners in the south east of Big Island since the start of the latest phase of eruptive activity on May 3, as part of an ongoing efforts to protect its environment.
But he told Express.co.uk it was “just a matter” before Poihoiki, which is threatened by lava which has “stalled” just 500 feet away, was inundated, as well as the popular Isaac Hale boat ramp which is much-used by tourists.
He said: “Pohoiki is one of the gems of Puna, which is the south-east corner of the island which includes Kilauea.
The community is very focused on it and hoping it will somehow be spared.
“But it is just a matter of time really.”
During the course of his animal rescue missions, Mr Kratel and colleagues have flown over the site several times in a helicopter, offering him a birds-eye view of the devastation.
He explained: “If people could see that they would realise that it is time to let Poihoiki go.
“That entire area is not just being kept empty for no reason – it is extremely hazardous.
“There’s nothing you can do.”
As nature takes its course, Mr Kratel said all he and everyone else on Big Island could do was wait.
He added: “Nobody knows what is next. It could go on for 30 years.”
Speaking to Hawaiinewsnow last Ikaika Marzo, a Big Island resident summed up local feeling when he said: ”Puna will never be the same without Pohoiki
“For a lot of people, that’s where we congregate.”
The eruption is also taking its toll on local wildlife – photographer G Brad Lewis last week reported that at least six sea turtles had washed up dead on the shore near Poihoiki, likely as result of the lava flowing into the ocean nearby.
A County of Hawaii spokesman said: “Fissure 8 continues to erupt lava into the perched channel, sending flows to the ocean at Ahalanui and creating a large laze plume.
“This afternoon, a spillover on the north side of the upper channel caused a brush fire in an undeveloped area.
“The margin of the flow at the ocean entry has not advanced and remains approximately 500 feet from the Pohoiki boat ramp.
“Hawaii Police Department reports traffic is extremely backed up on Queen Kaahumanu Hwy and Kawaihae Road due to the brush fire which closed down Hwy 190 between Old Saddle Road to Puu Lani Ranch and Waikola Village to Hwy 190 Junction.”