Lava fumes and heat continue wafting from the aftermath of where Gary Sleik’s beautiful handcrafted home and gardens stood for five years until molten pahoehoe claimed it all just nine days ago.
Photos and captions below tell the grim story: images from just before lava consumed his property and photos I took of the same site yesterday---
Gary's neighbor helps prepare for possible evacuation as lava approaches his home on three sides July 24th, 2010
Below: Same location August 2nd, 2010 -- only a burned roof and water catchment canopy frame remains embedded on the still smoldering lava
Below: Gary's beautiful arbor and entrance to one of many gardens; in this shot, Gary's home has already burned to the ground and it is the fire from that which is illuminating the fence. A setting full moon through the arbor in the west- July 25th, 2010 at around 5:30 AM. Below is what remains now of the arbor: dangling tin cans to ward off garden-eating birds continues to tinkle in the wind
(Above) Here we see remnants of Gary's little forest gazebo in the foreground and his burned roof in the distance. Below: I slept next to that gazebo the night of July 23rd as lava was spreading towards the area through the forest only 100-feet away; you can see the lava in the forest in the background. Methane explosions are what disturbed my sleep. Gary was sleeping in the bedroom of his house and before retiring there he told me I was his alarm, "If I hear you screaming when lava reaches you out there, I will know it's time to get up"... I love Gary's sense of humor, even under such dire personal challenges as this event was for him.
Molten lava and brush fires approach the Gazebo July 23rd and 24th, 2010
We had carried this table from Gary's home the day lava was getting close to it; this is where we sat and watched his home ignited by lava at 3:16 AM and burn for two hours on July 25th, 2010. You can see his burned roof in the background. This sitting area has not been touched by recent lava -yet- but is now surrounded by recent expansions and uplift inflation.
You can read the blog post for this event here
Report from Kalapana Gardens
From all reports I could gather this morning about Kalapana Gardens surface lava conditions, I am told there has been no further molten outbreaks along the eastern or northern edges of the hot zone near homes as of 10:00 AM today. D/I-Inflation has continued fairly strong through the night and into this morning, which can translate into inflated coastal flat lava and stronger ocean entries. The more established the ocean entry lava becomes, the more likely that further inland breakouts will stall or completely stagnate. Pele calls the shots regardless what we may predict or hope for…
Public viewing remains open; phone Hawaii Civil Defense lava-hotline for current updates on that: 961-8093