A fire ignited by lava from the Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island is threatening what a National Park Service spokesman calls “a living laboratory of Hawaiian plants and animals,” the Star-Advertiser in Honolulu reports.
The fire, which began on March 5, has burned 100 acres of a 2,750-acre special ecological area in a lowland rain forest, according to the Park Service. The lava flow is over 2 metres high.
Among the creatures in the area are happy face spiders, carnivorous caterpillars and the endangered Hawaiian bat, the newspaper said, citing Park Service fire information spokesman Gary Wuchner.
“It best represents what Hawaii was, and is a seed source for plants and refuge for birds,” Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Mardi Lane told the Star-Advertiser.
Forty Park Service firefighters from Hawaii and western mainland states are battling the fire, according to the report
– Homepage image / Hawaii Volcano Observatory