UPDATE: Stubborn Brush Fire Near Lahainaluna Burns 7 Acres
By Maui Now Staff
(Update: 4:49 p.m. 5/17/15)
A fire near Lahainaluna High School burned an estimated seven acres since it started on Saturday afternoon, May 16, 2015.
Fire crews spent Sunday morning walking the fire line below the school to put out hot spots that were still moldering along the perimeter.
Maui Fire Services Officer Edward Taomoto said crews were primarily focusing on stubborn areas along the Kahoma Stream gulch where partially buried organic material, trash and abandoned vehicles were making the fire especially difficult to extinguish.
Crews planned to continue mop-up efforts until darkness and patrol the area throughout the night.
The department also plans to assess the area again on Monday morning.
The fire burned an open field bordered by Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary School, the Kahoma Stream, Lahainaluna High School and a softball field to the south before it was 100% contained by 9:17 p.m. on Saturday. According to department reports, shifting winds fanned flames downslope and hampered firefighting operations on Saturday.
Crews aboard the department’s Air 1 helicopter and ground crews were able to stop the flames before the fire got too deep into the gulch.
No structures were damaged; however, flames came within 50 feet of structures at Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary.
Fire officials say six Maui Electric Company utility poles were scorched during the incident.
FSO Taomoto said it’s still unclear what may have caused the fire, but it is believed to have started near Lahainaluna High School property. The cause remains under investigation.
Eight fire units from Lahaina, Nāpili, Kahului, Wailea, Wailuku, and the fire department’s Air 1 helicopter responded to the incident.
(Update: 5:56 p.m. 5/16/15)
A fire near Lahinaluna High School burned at least three acres of brush after being reported at around 4:37 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2015.
Lahaina firefighters arrived on scene to find about a half acre of light brush on fire.
At around 6 p.m., fire crews remained on scene, and the burn area had increased to three acres in size, burning an area of brush between Lahainaluna High School and Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary School.
The fire department’s Air 1 helicopter was called assist crews from Nāpili, Kahului, Wailea, and Wailuku.