Three People Cited During Volcano Emergency

May 30, 2018, 12:40 PM HST · Updated May 30, 12:40 PM
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Vehicle used by a couple cited by DOCARE officers on Monday night to allegedly enter a closed area. PC: DLNR Hawaiʻi.

Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies have adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward anyone who violates closures in the disaster area associated with the current eruption of Kīlauea and associated lava flows.

On Monday night, a New York State couple allegedly bypassed a security check-point on Highway 132, parked outside of Lava Tree State Monument which is closed, and then walked into an area of intense active lava flow, according to state officials.

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The man and woman reportedly told DOCARE officers that a local resident told them how to get around the check-point. The pair was cited for loitering and refusal to evacuate during a pending disaster.

Officers also report that a boat tied up at the closed Pohoiki Boat Ramp was unable to return to the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hilo.  The owner of the boat received three citations for various boat safety equipment violations.

All of the citations issued on Monday night are considered petty misdemeanors, but can carry higher penalties because they happened during a disaster situation.

Acting DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said, “The volcano emergency is an ever-changing situation and people who ignore closures and warnings from police, fire and civil defense authorities not only put themselves in potentially life-threatening situations, but they are doing the same to our officers and emergency first-responders.”

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