MOLOKAI FIRE NOW IN ITS 3RD DAY BURNS AN ESTIMATED 7,200 ACRESAugust 31, 2009, 1:08 PM HST · Updated August 31, 1:12 PM 0 Comments
UPDATED @ 12:30 P.M. MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2009
County and state fire crews continue their third day of battling a brush fire on Molokai that has increased in size to 7,200 acres since it was first reported Saturday afternoon.
On the ground, 40-plus County firefighters are joined by 28 wildland firefighters from the State’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Four helicopters returned this morning to assist firefighters with aerial water drops.
The fire is burning in a westerly direction and fire crews are dealing with gulches throughout the terrain. Bulldozer activity remains heavy as equipment operators place fire break lines to help prevent the fire from advancing.
Last night, an abandoned structure near Kalamaula was completely burned as firefighters fought to save the home adjacent to the abandoned building. The home was not damaged. A pig farm near Kalamaula was also threatened by the fire but did not sustain damage and the livestock were unharmed.
The County’s Cooke Memorial Swimming Pool remains closed today while it is being used as a water source for the helicopters.
A portion of the Maunaloa Highway was closed last night as fire crews and equipment traveled through the area to keep the fire from advancing.
Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center yesterday to accommodate anyone displaced.
Aside from one firefighter who was treated for smoke inhalation on Saturday, no injuries are reported.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
(Posted by Wendy Osher, Information provided by the County of Maui, Photos courtesy Jeff Zuckernick)