Vehicle Fire Spreads to Cane Field Burning 10 Acres

February 13, 2015, 1:16 PM HST · Updated February 13, 1:18 PM
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Maui Now graphics.

Maui Now graphics.

By Maui Now Staff

An estimated 10 acres of sugar cane burned after being sparked by a vehicle fire near the Pūlehu Road and Ōmaʻopio Road junction on Maui early Friday morning, fire officials said.

The incident was reported at around 5:10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, with a call to emergency dispatchers of a large brush fire in the area.

Kula firefighters arrived on scene at 5:27 a.m. to find about 2 acres of sugar cane burning about a half mile above the junction, said Maui Acting Fire Services Officer Edward Taomoto.

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According to Taomoto, strong 20-25 mph southerly Kona winds fanned the flames, making it difficult for firefighters and crews from Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Company to gain control of the fire.

Ōmaʻopio and Pūlehu roads were closed for a brief time due to heavy smoke and unsafe driving conditions.

Engine 10, Tanker 10, and a Battalion Chief from Kahului fire station also responded.

When fire crews left the scene at 8:30 a.m., about 10 acres had been burned.

Workers from HC&S took over operations to extinguish the fire.

An investigation revealed that there was a vehicle, completely burned, in the cane field, according to department reports. The vehicle fire was determined to be the probable cause of the unscheduled cane burn.

No structures were threatened, and the dollar loss to sugar cane was not available at last report.

***A separate vehicle fire was reported within a parking structure at the Whaler’s Village in Kāʻanapali on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.   Video is available on our Maui Now Facebook page at the following direct LINK.

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