Hawaii volcano prompts 'ring of fire' fears for West Coast

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Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is not part of the ''ring of fire,'' and there is no imminent threat to the ''ring of fire'' volcanoes on the West Coast. (Scott Wiggers/Apau Hawaii Tours via AP)

As Hawaii prepares for a possible "explosive eruption," confusion has arisen about the relationship between Kilauea and the West Coast's "ring of fire" volcanoes.

But experts say there's not cause for concern for those who live near "ring of fire" volcanoes. Here's everything you need to know.

WHAT IS THE RING OF FIRE?

The ring of fire is a series of volcanoes encircling the Pacific Ocean. It's known for eruptions caused by movements of tectonic plates. The 25,000 mile-stretch of 450 volcanoes forms a horseshoe shape. Many of these volcanoes may erupt at the same time, as it is all one dynamic system, AccuWeather explains.

Many of the most dangerous volcanoes in the country are a part of the ring of fire, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. These include Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington; Mount Hood and South Sister in Oregon; and Mount Shasta and Lassen Volcanic Center in California.

IS HAWAII PART OF THE RING OF FIRE?

No. The ring of fire only consists of those volcanoes that sit on tectonic plates, along the horseshoe.

"Hawaii is in the middle of what is called the ring of fire, meaning that it is not on the ring of fire," Good Morning America's Ginger Zee explained on Monday.

Volcanic activity in Hawaii is not caused by tectonic plates but rather by hot spots, Zee explained.

"It's a completely different formation, completely different eruption variable that gets it going," she said.

IS THE WEST COAST IN ANY DANGER?

Zee said you should always check for local warnings, but right now the West Coast doesn't have any.

No eruption seems imminent for any U.S. volcanoes on the ring of fire, the Associated Press reports.

WHAT'S GOING ON IN HAWAII?

Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated from two neighborhoods on Hawaii's Big Island last week, and three more fissures opened up over the weekend, ABC News reports. At least 35 structures have been destroyed in the first 10 days of volcanic activity.
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