Hana Highway OPEN; Brush Fire 100% Contained
Update 7:15a 6/23/10:
Some smoke still can be seen at the site of yesterday’s fire makai of the Hana Highway in Kahului. There is no threat, there are just some large logs that are smoldering at the center of the already burned area.
Firefighters brought the 25 acre brush fire under full containment yesterday afternoon. The blaze burned brush between the Kahului heliport and the Hana highway, forcing a temporary road closure and resulting in traffic jams in both Kahului and Paia. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Update: 4:45 p.m. 6/22/10
Officials with the Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety report that the Central Maui brush fire is now 100% contained. The fire was first reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. and was located on the backside of the Kahului Heliport and the makai side of the Hana Highway. Firefighters are conducting mop up operations and will monitor the burn area for flare-ups.
Fire crews from Kahului, Paia, Makawao and Wailea received assistance today from State Division of Forestry and Wildlife personnel, two helicopters, and heavy equipment from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company and the County’s Department of Public Works.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
(Information courtesy: County of Maui)
Update: 4:29 p.m. 6/22/10
The Hana Highway in Kahului is now open in both directions, however, it will take some time for traffic to resume its normal flow. Visibility is also poor in the area due to the ongoing brush fire and high winds that are kicking up dust from the burn area. The fire was first reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. and burned an estimated 25 acres at last report.
Two helicopters and more than 30 firefighters are responding to the blaze with heavy equipment and water tankers assisting from the Kahului, Paia and Makawao Stations. Gusty winds continue to be a factor in fighting the fire.
The blaze was reported between the back side of the Kahului Heliport and the makai side of the Hana Highway. According to Kahului Airport Manager Marvin Moniz, flights to and from Kahului airport have not been affected. It forced the temporary closure of the Hana Highway for about three hours. Again, the Hana Highway is now open in both directions, but it may take some time for traffic to resume its normal flow.
Update: 4:08 p.m. 6/22/10
Maui firefighters continue to battle a large brushfire first reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. near the Hana Highway in Kahului that has now burned an estimated 25 acres. High winds and dry conditions continue to be factors in fighting the blaze.
The Hana Highway remains closed between Dairy and Hansen Road. Maui Police have opened an alternate route to accommodate motorists traveling to and from Paia and the north shore area. Hansen Road is now open in both directions between the Mokulele and Hana Highways. As for inbound traffic on the Haleakala Highway, it is being routed via Hansen and Mokulele Highways.
Two helicopters and over 30 firefighters are responding to the brush fire. Heavy equipment and water tankers are assisting multiple fire engine companies from Kahului, Paia, and Makawao. Gusty wind conditions are reported to be a factor.
According to Kahului Airport Manager Marvin Moniz, flights to and from Kahului airport have not been affected.
The public should expect slow moving traffic through the area. Motorists are advised to avoid the area if travel is not necessary.
Update: 3:20 p.m. 6/22/10: Hana Highway remains closed from Dairy Road to Hansen Road.; Hansen Road is now open in both directions from the Mokulele Highway to the Hana Highway.; and Haleakala inbound traffic is being routed via Hansen Road to the Mokulele Highway.
Update: 3:00 p.m. 6/22/10
A brush fire first reported just before 1:30 this afternoon is affecting traffic between Kahului and Paia. The fire is located between the Kahului Heliport and the makai or ocean side of the Hana Highway. The Hana Highway is closed between the Haleakala Highway and Dairy Road.
Maui Police are working to try to establish an alternate access route via Hansen road at this time, and a possible one lane access route through Pulehu Road for upcountry residents. But once that does open up, traffic will be very slow moving and at a standstill at times. Motorists should avoid travel through the area if at all possible.
Firefighters are dealing with heavy smoke and high winds. Fire crews are on scene and the public is thanked for their cooperation until the area can be made safe.
Again, the Hana Highway remains closed between Dairy Road and the Haleakala Highway.
Update: 1:38p 6/22/10: Hana Highway is closed from Dairy Rd to Haleakala Highway due to a large brush fire burning from the Haleakala Extension to the Hana Highway. No further information is available at this time.