Maui News

Arson Suspected in 3 Unscheduled Cane Fires

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By Wendy Osher

Cane fire by the road. File photo courtesy Philip Guenther.

Cane fire by the road. File photo courtesy Philip Guenther.

Arson is suspected in three cane fires reported overnight in Central Maui, fire officials said.

The fires, reported over a one hour, 15 minute time-span, appear to have been intentionally set, said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

The fires resulted in crop loss estimated at $45,000, with about 9 acres destroyed by the fires, said FS Chief Mainaga.


The fires included the following:

  • 10:57 p.m. Thursday, June 13, Waikapū:  The first fire was reported at 10:57 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, in Waikapū, off of the Honoapiʻilani Highway, just south of the Waikapū on 30 restaurant, fire officials said.  It resulted in a crop loss of four acres before it was contained at 11:44 p.m., authorities said. According to fire department reports, units responding to the scene included Engine-1 and Mini-1 from Wailuku, and Engine-10 and Tanker-10 from Kahului.
  • 11:50 p.m. Thursday, June 13, Pūlehu Road:  The second fire was reported at 11:50 p.m. on the left side of Pūlehu Road about a mile above the landfill, FS Chief Mainaga said.  An estimated one acre was lost before that fire was contained at 12:07 a.m., with Engine-10 and Tanker-10 from Kahului responding to the incident, officials said.
  • 12:11 a.m. Friday, June 14, Kuihelani Highway: According to department reports, the third fire was reported at 12:11 a.m. on the south side of the Kuihelani Highway, about 200 yards east of the Maui Lani Parkway intersection. An estimated four acres were lost before the fire was contained at 1:50 a.m., with Engine-1 from Wailuku, as well as Hazmat-10, Relief Tanker-10, Engine-10, and Tanker-10 from Kahului responding to the incident, officials said.

Maui police reported at least one temporary partial road closure as a result of the fires. The Honoapiʻilani Highway was partially closed in Waikapū for about 45 minutes, beginning at 11:24 p.m. on Thursday.


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