The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory announced it will change the lava threat level from a watch to a warning with the lava just 1.1 miles away from the Kaohe Homesteads in Puna.
Authorities also believe the lava could be about a week away from reaching the rural subdivision.
Residents gathered to meet with scientists who are closely monitoring the situation.
An upgrade in the alert system has many residents extremely concerned.
Big Island Civil Defense officials say the flow has advanced another 100 yards, but say it does not pose an immediate threat to homes.
However, the volcano alert level will be changed from the third highest level to the fourth highest level according to the HVO.
"In this case, the lava is moving towards a residential area, which requires us to move it up to the fourth level, which is a warning," said Jim Kauahikaua, the HVO scientist-in-charge.
Residents are worried about the direction in which the lava is flowing.
"It seems like you're just telling us it is advancing towards us," said one of the residents who attending Tuesday night's meeting.
"The lava flow is clearly confined within the rift zone structures, the cracks, and righ along the rift zone. If somehow it escapes the structure, the general trend of the topography would pull the flow to the northeast," said Kauahikaua.
One resident asked authorities if there is anything else they can do to stop the flow.
"There’s no way you can just keep it in that channel?" asked the unidentified resident.
"If we were to deploy any kind of diversion, we have to live with that outcome which could be worse than the original problem," said Darryl Olivera of Hawaii County Civil Defense.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense will host another meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Pahoa High School cafeteria to give another update.