The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says an advancing lava flow from the erupting Kilauea volcano is moving at up to 15 metres per hour as it crosses into residential land.
Geologist, Janet Babb, says some residents have already left their homes and the lava is now about 400 metres from the main access road to Pahoa village on Hawaii's Big Island.
She says the lava flow will continue to disrupt life as it advances.
"As it continues to move into the community, homes will be lost, businesses will be lost, you know if the road it cut, that's going to cause even greater disruption. Just the lava flow itself and the damage that it does is one thing but then there's also the burning vegetation and the smoke generated from that can be blown down wind."
Janet Babb says the smoke can be toxic at times particularly when the lava burns asphalt or household materials.