Loitering Citations Issued to Volcano Sightseers

Like 18 people previously cited, the seven cited June 6 allegedly bypassed established checkpoints or were found in areas closed because of the Kilauea volcano's continuing eruption.

Officers from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement cited seven people during the night of June 6 for loitering in a closed area, the state's governor announced. Like 18 people previously cited, these seven allegedly bypassed established checkpoints or were found in areas closed because of the Kilauea volcano's continuing eruption.

The announcement said two Puna residents were cited at Bryson Cinder Quarry, past the Papaya Farms Road checkpoint. Officers say the pair got past the checkpoint after a local resident vouched for them, saying they were staying at the resident's home. The two were spotted standing on a spot with hot lava hardening around it about 15 yards away; officers reported that the two rode bikes to where they were cited.

Five people were cited outside the gate at MacKenzie State Park, which has been closed for the past month.

All seven people were cited under Hawaii County Code for loitering in a closed area. "They not only put themselves at risk but potentially endanger the lives of emergency workers and law enforcement if they must be rescued," the announcement stated.

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