Maui News

Felony Investigation Launched into Suspicious Cane Fires on Maui

June 18, 2013, 6:08 PM HST
* Updated June 19, 11:38 AM
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Map of unscheduled cane burns. Image courtesy County of Maui.

Map of unscheduled cane burns. Image courtesy County of Maui.

By Wendy Osher

Fire officials on Maui are seeking the public’s help in identifying the person or persons responsible for setting eight unscheduled cane fires on Maui over the last two months.

Officials with the County Department of Fire and Public Safety say that since the rash of fires began on May 19, the fires have burned a total of 42.5-acres and resulted in a combined loss of $182,500 in crop damage at Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company.

Maui police have launched felony investigations into several of the fires on suspicion of felony First Degree Criminal Property Damage, according to information released today by county officials.

The cause of the fires so far have been classified as “undetermined,” however fire department officials believe the fires may have been intentionally set because there are no obvious points of ignition, a press release said.

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Although none of the incidents have resulted in injury, officials say a weekend fire in Kūʻau forced the evacuation of the Mama’s Fish House restaurant, and came close to homes in the area.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

File photo by Wendy Osher.

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County authorities provided a list of the suspicious incidents that included the following:

Most of the fires occurred in easily accessible areas, according to information released today by the County of Maui.

Individuals with information about the fires are asked to call the public number for the Maui Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 244-6425.

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***Supporting information courtesy: County of Maui Communications Director Rod Antone.

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