Drone Operator Assists Maui Fire Crews in Battling Remote Kahekili Fire
A remote brush fire located in dense overgrowth and trees off of the Kahekili Highway, burned four acres on Monday night before being contained. Fire officials say they had difficulty identifying the exact location of the fire and its extent resulting in minimal effectiveness of initial extinguishment efforts.
The incident was reported at around 7:20 p.m. on Monday, March 14, 2016 off Kahekili Hwy about a quarter mile from Makaʻala Drive.
Maui Fire Captain Paul Haake said an acting battalion chief requested the assistance of an individual who was operating a drone in the area for a local, social media source. The footage was used to assist fire crews with the location and subsequent extinguishment of the fire.
Acting Battalion Chief Lee Theros issued a statement regarding the aerial drone saying its use was helpful in identify the extent of the fire and its boundaries.
Once the fire’s heel, flanks and head were identified, BC Theros said an effective plan to extinguish it could be devised. Fire officials say the drone’s use also allowed crews to do an assessment of danger to nearby structures in the area.
The department extended their thanks to Maui 24/7 for their assistance during the incident.
Firefighters responding to the incident included crews from Wailuku, Kahului, Makawao and Kīhei.
As of Tuesday morning, the fire was 100% contained.
There were no injuries reported and no structures were immediately threatened.