Arson Possible in Latest Unscheduled Cane Burn

June 18, 2013, 7:58 AM HST · Updated June 18, 6:10 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Another unscheduled cane fire burned a half-acre and caused an estimated $2,500 in damage to a Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company field, fire officials said.

The incident was reported at 1:40 p.m. on Monday, June 17, 2013, near the parking triangle area of Māʻalaea along North Kīhei Road.

The cause of the fire was undetermined, but Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said the blaze may have been intentionally set.

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The fire was brought under control at 2:07 p.m., and extinguished at 2:45 p.m., fire officials said.

According to authorities, units responding to the scene included a tanker from Kahului and an Engine Company from Kīhei.

The fire is the latest in a rash of unscheduled burns of sugar cane fields on the island.  An unscheduled cane fire on Sunday afternoon caused an estimated $100,000 in damage and burned an estimated 26 acres in Kūʻau.

The department also responded to three suspicious cane fires reported overnight on Thursday, June 13, into Friday morning, June 14, 2013 in Waikapū, along Pūlehu Road, and along the Kuihelani Highway.  Authorities say those particular fires, which were reported over a one hour, 15 minute time-span, appeared to have been intentionally set.

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