Photographer G. Brad Lewis captured these telling aerial photographs of the progress of the June 27th lava flow yesterday afternoon. Currently, the flow is advancing at a rate of approximately 700 feet per day. Yesterday, it breached the boundary of Kaohe Homesteads, a subdivision between the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve and Puna, for the first time.
Luckily, the lava has remained in the vacant northwest portion of the subdivision, and the Hawaii Civil Defense has not had to call for an evacuation. The biggest concern right now is the smoke. Conditions vary with the wind, but residents have been advised to limit outdoor activities, use air conditioners on the recycle setting if possible, and seek medical attention and leave the area if discomfort increases.
Right now, the lava is on track to reach Apa`a Road in 15 days and Pāhoa Village Road (the government road) in Pāhoa within 20 days. The county is scrambling to clear two alternate routes, one at Railroad Road and another at the Government Beach Road, so that residents do not become “lava locked” should the flow cut off existing roadways.