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Arizona National Guard members experience fire, fury of Hawaiian volcano

Lava shoots into the night sky from active fissures on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

PHOENIX — Members of the Arizona National Guard answered the call and ventured into some dangerous areas on the Big Island of Hawaii after entire neighborhoods witnessed cracks and fissures from the Kilauea volcano.

The nightmare began on May 3, when the volcano first went off.

It was fissures that sent hot molten lava pouring out destroying entire neighborhoods.

This was the scene that greeted Arizona National Guard members when they arrived on the Big Island two weeks ago.

Sgt. Carl Satterwaite (KTAR photo/Mark Carlson)

The Arizona guard members helped Hawaii residents who lost their homes because of the fissures and lava covering and destroying their neighborhoods.

Members arrived back home Wednesday following a two week deployment.

Sgt. Carl Satterwaite said this was his first encounter with a volcano.

“To see it for yourself it is very impressive,” Satterwaite said.

“It’s a volcano. It will be relentless and you have to be very careful around it just all the fissures that open up.”

Satterwaite said residents on the Big Island welcomed their help.

“We went into quite a few areas and the residents there welcomed us,” Satterwaite said.

“We went into a few areas that we weren’t really sure if we would be accepted there, but they came out they helped us out.”

Although they just returned from Hawaii a few days ago, Satterwaite said the National Guard members are ready to return and help out if called upon.

“This specialized unit we’re pretty much ready to go at any time,” Satterwaite said. “If given the opportunity and the call most likely we will head back out.”

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