UPDATE: Brush Fire near Windfarm in Māʻalaea Burns 80 Acres

January 21, 2016, 2:35 PM HST · Updated January 22, 1:02 PM
Wendy Osher · 28 Comments
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UPDATE: 6:15 p.m. 1/21/16
(Information courtesy Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto)

Maui fire crews are at the scene of an 80 acre brushfire in Maalaea. Firefighters got the call at 1:59 p.m. this afternoon.

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    When firefighters from Wailuku arrived at 2:11 p.m., about 10 acres of brush was on fire and moving rapidly upslope.

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    The fire started on the mauka side of Honoapiilani Highway, a quarter mile to the south of Maalaea Harbor.

    Fire was burning towards the Kaheawa Wind farm but has not reached it yet.

    Ground crews have no way to get to the fire because of steep mountainous terrain and no road access, so the fire is being fought with water drops from two helicopters.

    The fire perimeter has not yet been contained, but fire spread has slowed. Crews have been positioned to protect area structures, in the event that fire turns and makes a run towards homes.

    Traffic on Honoapiilani Highway was closed briefly this afternoon between Maalaea Harbor and mile post 11 on the Lahaina side of the tunnel, but traffic has since been reopened.

    Currently, no structures are being threatened and no injuries have been reported.

    Crews from Wailuku, Kahului, Kihei, and Lahaina responded to the fire.

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    *UPDATE: 3:09 p.m. 1/21/16 Road now OPEN in both directions for now.  Please check back for updates should conditions warrant another temporary closure.

    Motorists traveling to or from Lahaina are advised of heavy traffic on the Honoapiʻilani Highway between “Thousand Peaks” and Māʻalaea Harbor due to a brush fire near Mile 7 of the highway.

    The fire is located on the mauka side of the road and was advancing up the hill in the area of the Kaheawa windfarm at last report.  The incident was reported at around 2 p.m. on the mauka side of the highway in Māʻalaea.

    *We will continue to update this post with more information as it becomes available.

    Also, earlier this afternoon, emergency crews responded to a report of a vehicle over the cliff near McGregor Point. Please drive with caution and expect delays.

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Rommel Tejero

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Rommel Tejero

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Melinda Harrigan Fasel

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Melinda Harrigan Fasel

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Mitch Palmer

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Mitch Palmer

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Malika Dudley.

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Malika Dudley.

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Mitch Palmer

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Mitch Palmer

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Malika Dudley.

    Fire in Māʻalaea, Jan. 21, 2016. Photo credit: Malika Dudley.

    Wendy Osher
    Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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