Two Hawaii residents have been charged with trespassing after police found the man and woman snapping pictures within five feet of a slow-moving river of molten lava that is threatening a nearby village, police said.
Hawaii County police responding to a report on Thursday evening also found the pair with two golf clubs, each with a ball of hardened lava stuck to its end, in the vicinity of the lava flow north of Pahoa village.
Another Hawaii man, 56-year-old Glen Bousquet, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser newspaper that he had ventured across restricted lands several times to snap a selfie photo of himself standing near the flaming lava.
Hordes of people have flocked to see the lava flow from Kilauea volcano that has been creeping toward the Pahoa community for more than four months, said Darryl Oliveira, director of Hawaii County Civil Defense.
The volcanic flow made little progress on Friday, Oliveira said. While the leading edge has paused some 40 yards from a residence, a handful of breakouts upslope continued to spread out along the margins of the main flow, he said.
One breakout continued its march toward the solid waste transfer station and by Friday afternoon was about 25 yards from the fence. Another breakout razed a cattle feeding station.
Police said Ruth Crawford, 65, of Ainaloa, and Stephen Koch, 59, of Nanawale, had crossed private property to reach the viewing location and were arrested on Thursday. They were charged with second-degree criminal trespassing and released after posting $250 bail each.
No homes have been destroyed and no injuries have been reported.
The leading edge of the flow has paused about 185 yards from Pahoa Village Road, the main thoroughfare through the old sugar plantation.
Kilauea has erupted continuously from its Pu'u O'o vent since 1983, with its latest lava flow beginning on June 27. The last home destroyed by lava on the Big Island was at the Royal Gardens subdivision in Kalapana in 2012.