A handful of coffee and macadamia nut growers are devastated after a series of massive brush fires tore through their orchards.
"For an industry that's really beginning to take a hold in Ka'u, this is an unnecessary challenge for us to face," said Chris Manfredi of Ka'u Farm and Ranch.
Big Island police are investigating six suspicious fires, which have torched more than 6,500 acres in the last month. Hundreds of acres of macadamia and coffee drops were destroyed. The brush fires ignited in Ka'u over a short span; just miles away from each other. Police are offering a $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward and are asking area residents to report suspicious activity.
"When we have dry weather, there's usually an increase in fires but this is something that does concern us," said Capt. Andrew Burian from Hawaii County Police Department.
Coffee growers say it takes three years for a tree to produce and some coffee growers have seen half of their future yields destroyed. If you have any information about these fires, you are asked to call Big Island police at 935-3311.