Investigation Launched into 8 Suspicious Lahaina Brush Fires
By Wendy Osher
An investigation has been launched into eight suspicious brush fires reported early this morning in Lahaina.
The incidents were reported between 3:37 and 4:48 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at various locations throughout West Maui, fire officials said.
Firefighters from Lahiana responded to the first report at 3:37 p.m. near the Lahaina bypass and Keawe Street, according department reports.
Crews arrived to find a 50-foot by 200-foot grass fire burning in the median of the Keawe Street Section of the bypass, and another grass fire, about 100-feet by 150-feet in size burning about a quarter mile to the south, said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.
While fighting the first two fires, another 150-foot by 150-foot fire was spotted about a mile to the south of the bypass.
Minutes later, at 3:44 a.m., another brush fire was reported at mile post 17 of the Honoapiʻilani Highway. Fire officials say Wailuku firefighters, and a Kahului tanker crew responded to the incident on the mauka side of the highway in the area of “Cut Mountain” to find an area of brush burning, estimated to be about 100-feet by 100-feet in size.
At4:19 a.m., a separate brush fire was reported above Leialiʻi Parkway in Lahaina. Fire companies from Nāpili and Lahaina responded to the scene where three separate fires were found — two measured at 100-square feet, and one measured at 200-square feet, said FS Chief Mainaga.
A final fire was reported at 4:48 a.m. above Wahikuli Road, where an engine company from Lahaina doused a 10-foot by 50-foot grass fire located makai of the old cane haul road, about 50-feet away from the nearest homes, fire officials said.
All eight fires were called extinguished by 6:09 a.m., according to department reports.
“It appears that these brush fires may have been intentionally set,” said FS Chief Mainaga.
According to Mainaga, fire inspectors are conducting an ongoing investigation.
No injuries or monetary damages were reported.
The rash of fires comes four days after another suspicious fire incident in which a Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company pump house sustained an estimated $500,000 in damage during an early morning fire in Puʻunēnē on Friday, Oct. 18.