Firefighters Find Skeleton at Hawaii Brush Fire


Honolulu and Federal firefighters discovered human skeletal remains Monday afternoon, after they contained a quick moving brushfire above Nanakuli Monday.

Fire officials called in Honolulu Police and the Medical Examiner's office to determine if the remains were ancient or recent.

The Honolulu Fire Department dispatched more than a dozen units to fight a brush fire, which was reported at about 9:30 a.m. in the Navy area of Lualualei Naval Road.

HFD and federal fire officials sent eight tankers and more than 13 engine crews. HFD and police helicopters assisted by dousing the flames from above.

Firefighters struggled with gusty winds as they battled the flames. At times, the brushfire appeared to playing hide and seek with Honolulu and Federal firefighters.

"The terrain is difficult for them. It's rough, it's steep. There's a lot of dry fuel around, ready to burn," said HFD's Capt. Gary Lum.

More than 60 firefighters from 12 engine companies battled the flames.

About eight water tankers were on the scene since there were no water resources readily available in the area.

"The logistics are difficult. If we don't have water readily available, you got to go shuttle it back and fourth," Lum said.

Military police shut down a half mile stretch of Lualualei Naval Rd. during the fire, forcing Nanakuli resident Fletcher Lee and his children to abandon their car and walk home.

"We tried to get past the guards and they wouldn't let us in. The fire keeps blowing closer to the road. It's getting dangerous," Lee said.

Every time firefighters extinguished one branch of flames, the winds whipped them up again.

"The wind kind of moves around in directions. It switches. So the crew's got to be ready to move if the wind starts moving their way," Lum said.

Firefighters were surrounded by flames at one point, when the wind suddenly pushed the fire in their direction.

They were forced to drop their water hoses and run.

They safely escaped the fire.

Their water hoses did not. The hoses were charred. Firefighters said that rarely happens.

The brushfire burned about 50 acres of brush.

Fire officials said there would be no investigation into the cause of the fire since it did not damage or threaten any life or property.

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