Maui (South)

Maui Currently Experiencing a Huge 3000 Acre Fire Still Un-contained

The fire currently under way on Maui is going to continue through the night as firefighting crews remain cautious while fighting the 3000 acre blaze. With a number of road closures and evacuations that have been underway today, there have been many people and animals displaced due to this fast moving brush fire. We hope that the Maui County Fire Department stays safe as they attempt to control and extinguish the brushfire.

Motorists left Kihei on Thursday evening through charred Maui Veterans Highway amid a rapidly moving brush fire that consumed 3,000 acres as it swept from Kahului toward north Kihei due to high winds.

Access into Kihei on the highway was reopened at 9:30 p.m. after being closed in the afternoon. The county said that vehicles were being escorted through North Kihei Road. 

A Kihei shelter reached capacity at 450 people. A mandatory evacuation of north Kihei residents was lifted at about 9:30 p.m.

All ground firefighter crews were set to work through the night to try to contain the fire, which remained a “very dynamic situation,” according to Maui Fire Department Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro late Thursday night.

Road closures:

• North Kihei Road (vehicles being escorted).

• Hansen Road.

Road reopenings:

• Kuihelani Highway.

• All lanes of Maui Veterans Highway.

• Waiko Road.

(click on the Maui News link above to learn more about shelters that are open and/or at capacity)

KHON2 News:

The Maui Humane Society was one of the first places to be evacuated earlier Thursday afternoon.

“It was black smoke, and it was pretty thick. We could absolutely see the flames. They were close,” said Nancy Willis with the Maui Humane Society.

They moved over 200 animals, with the help of residents and other shelters. They set up at Maui High School where many workers and volunteers are taking care of the animals.

“We’re working on a generator, lights and cots. Lots of people are helping us. We’ve put that plan into place, just in case,” said Willis.

Over 600 people have checked into shelters at the Kihei Community Center, Kamalii Elementary School and War Memorial Gymnasium as of 9 p.m. Thursday night. 


From CNN:

As darkness set in, Maui Mayor Mike Victorino said firefighters would not bring it under control overnight.

"We can't fight the fire tonight. We're not going to send any firefighters into harm's way," Victorino said Thursday.


Hotel Wailea Luxury Resort Evacuated Due to Fast-Moving Wildfire

Brush fire that forced evacuation of luxury Maui resort is seen in background on January 6, 2019

Brush fire that forced evacuation of luxury Maui resort is seen in background on January 6, 2019

From the Source:

A luxury Maui resort was evacuated Sunday night as a fast-moving brush fire swept through Wailea, CBS Hawaii affiliate KGMB reports.  Guests and employees at Hotel Wailea, a five-star resort, were evacuated at about 8:30 p.m., almost two hours after the wind-whipped blaze started.

Hotel Wailea shut off propane tanks and police were on the property knocking on doors telling people to leave.

The American Red Cross of Hawaii opened an emergency shelter at a local community center to assist affected visitors and residents.

20 Acre Fire Near Auwahi Windfarm on Maui

The fire occurred in the vicinity of the Auwahi Wind Farm located in leeward Haleakala.

The fire occurred in the vicinity of the Auwahi Wind Farm located in leeward Haleakala.

We are glad all are okay at Auwahi Wind. They have been a great partner in Kahikinui's Firewise Community efforts. Recently, they contributed $10,000 to the Hawaiian homestead community for a new community entrance and fuels reduction.

From the Source:

The Piʻilani Highway (Hwy 31) at Mile Marker 20 in ʻUlupalakua is now OPEN.  The road was temporarily closed in both directions for about an hour and a half while crews responded to a brush fire in the area of the Auwahi Wind Farm.

Over $1 million: Cost of Maui Brush Fire That Moved to Destroy Two Homes

Credit: KITV4

Credit: KITV4

Our hearts go out to those that suffered home damage or loss on Wednesday afternoon. Aside from the economic loss, we can only imagine the feeling of losing your possessions, your home, and the time that will be spent with the recovery process. 

Make sure to check out the ReadySetGo! Action Guide to learn the easy steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of home loss in a wildfire. 

Officials: Kihei Brush Fires Appear Suspicious

Credit: Asa Ellison / KFVE

Credit: Asa Ellison / KFVE

From the Source:

"The blazes near Kihei started in four places — and miles apart. They've burned about 100 acres.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the blazes were about 75 percent contained.

Officials said the fires appeared to be suspicious, but a cause has not yet been determined."

Kihei Brush Fire Chars 5 Acres

"Maui Fire Department trucks are lined up along Piilani Highway in Kihei on Saturday afternoon while firefighters battle a brush fire mauka of the highway near the Kaonoulu Street intersection." Credit: The Maui News / Colleen Uechi

"Maui Fire Department trucks are lined up along Piilani Highway in Kihei on Saturday afternoon while firefighters battle a brush fire mauka of the highway near the Kaonoulu Street intersection." Credit: The Maui News / Colleen Uechi

September is slated to be a busy time for wildfire -- be vigilant and have a plan to evacuate early. 

From the Source:

"A fire in Kihei burned up to 5 acres of brush before it was contained Saturday, a fire official said.

The fire was reported at 2:24 p.m. mauka of Piilani Highway near the Kaonoulu Street intersection, Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said. Firefighters arrived on the scene at 2:48 p.m. to find approximately one-half of an acre burning."

12 Fires, 1 Injury During 4th of July Holiday on Maui

"Maui fireworks injuries. Maui Now graphic. Background image: Rachael Johnson"

"Maui fireworks injuries. Maui Now graphic. Background image: Rachael Johnson"

Maui County firefighters were kept busy on 4th of July. We commend and thank them for their amazing efforts responding to 12 fire incidents, including 5 brushfires, and a fireworks-related injury on what usually is a busy day for them. We wish for a speedy recovery for the girl injured from the fireworks incident.

From the Source:

"There were also five brush fires. One occurred on Ala Ekahi St. in Hoʻolehua, Molokaʻi and was the only brush fire related to fireworks. Fire officials say the incident is believed to have been started by aerial fireworks.

The four other brush fires occurred on Maui, in Kīhei, Kahului, and Puʻunēnē. Three of the fires were smaller than 1,000 square feet and one was around five acres in size. Three had undetermined causes and one was determined to be intentionally set after a witness reported seeing a male individual ignite the brush near the canoe hale on North Kīhei Road, and then flee the scene.

The five acre brush fire occurred at 11:27 p.m., July 4, off of South Firebreak Rd. next to the Hawaiian Cement facility, a mile east of Mokulele Highway. The cause of that fire was undetermined. Two engines and two water tankers from Kahului and Wailea remained on scene to mop-up the area until noon on Wednesday."

Electrical Arc at Maui Electric Substation Sparks 7-Acre Wailea Fire

Credit: Ellen Raimo/Special to Maui Now

Maui firefighters are off to a busy start this year, this time battling a 7-acre brushfire in Wailea on Tuesday, April 5th. All it take is one spark to cause a wildfire. Be prepared in advance by making sure your home and family have an evacuation plan!

From the Source:

"Maui fire officials say the seven acre fire started after an electrical arc on a Maui Electric Company transmission line dropped a shower of sparks, igniting the dry grass below it.

Wailea firefighters first responded to the same area located about 300 yards mauka of Kalai Waa Street about 90 minutes earlier, at 9:28 a.m. Firefighters extinguished a grass fire which burned a 40 foot circle below a high voltage transmission line. The Wailea area experienced a power outage at about the same time."

MFD: Kihei Fire Intentionally Set

"Kihei fire, Oct. 20, 2015. Photo credit: Julia Toro."

Arson is a serious crime (first degree arson is a class A felony). If you have any information on any suspicious activity in the area near the Tuesday fire, please report to 911. 

From the Source:

"Maui fire officials say an afternoon brush fire on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in Kīhei was intentionally set.

The incident was reported at 2:24 p.m. near Kaiwahine Street in South Maui.

Firefighters from Kīhei arrived on scene at 2:35 p.m. to find about an acre of dry brush burning at the end of Kaiwahine Street, next to Hale Piʻilani Park...

A total of 2 acres was burned, and the fire came within 100 feet of the nearest homes."

West Maui Crews Respond to Three Brush Fires Within an Hour

There's a reason why West Maui was the first area in Maui that we covered with a Community Wildfire Protection Plan: it's the most fire-prone region of the County. 

Mahalo to Maui Fire Department for their hard work in keeping three simultaneous brush fires contained!

From the Source: 

"Maui firefighters were busy Thursday after receiving calls for three separate brush fires within an hour in West Maui.

At 10:50 a.m., fire crews responded to multiple reports of a brush fire on Kai Hele Ku Street in Launiupoko. A Lahaina ladder crew arrived at 11 a.m. and was able to contain a grass fire found burning on the north side of Kai Hele Ku Street, just below the roundabout at Haniu Street. The fire burned just over one acre of grass."

Kihei Cane Burn Part of HC&S Annual Harvest

This is a good time to practice the "Set" portion of your Ready, Set, Go! Hawaii Wildland Fire Action Guide. Pay attention to your surroundings including any sudden changes in wind. Even if it is a "controlled" burn, the best is to be prepared for the worst case scenario. You can access updates via text, email or online at HCSugar.com.

From the Source: 

"Several residents sent in photos this morning of a scheduled cane fire in South Maui.

The plume of smoke from the fire could be seen from Māʻalaea Harbor with light winds carrying the smoke skyward.

According to notifications from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company, the fire was a scheduled burn that began at 6 a.m., and was to conclude 10 a.m. above Hawaiian Cement near Kīhei.

The burn is part of the company’s 142nd harvest that began in mid-March."

Above: "Oct. 27, 2014, 6:15 a.m. from Māʻalaea Harbor toward Kīhei. Courtesy Steve Butler aboard the Mahana Naiʻa." 

Above: "Oct. 27, 2014, 6:15 a.m. from Māʻalaea Harbor toward Kīhei. Courtesy Steve Butler aboard the Mahana Naiʻa."