Maui Fire Department Schedules Controlled-Burns
On March 21-25, 2016 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the Maui County Department of Fire & Public Safety in conjunction with West Maui Land Company and in consultation with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Clean Air Branch and Maui Police Department, will be performing a series of “controlled burns” near mile marker 19 of Honoapiʻilani Highway in the Puamana area.
Department officials say controlled burns are a preventive measure to reduce the brushfire fuel loads in wild land interface areas, reducing the chance of future fires. These burns will also provide a realistic, but controlled training opportunity for Maui County Firefighters, department officials said. The department’s All Hazards Incident Management Team has been working with West Maui Land Company management to identify potential fire hazard areas on their lands, and plan a series of burns that will help mitigate those hazards.
During the scheduled burn days, Maui residents and visitors can expect the possibility of seeing smoke or smelling smoke downwind of the burn sites. Additional traffic of Maui County Fire Department vehicles and personnel may be seen on the roads on and near Hōkiokio Place and Launiupoko during the training. Traffic impacts are expected to be minimal and no road closures are planned at this time. The department asks that motorists use caution however while driving in these areas. The controlled burns are being done on private land, and the public is urged to avoid trespassing in an attempt to view the activity.
For safety reasons, the burns will only go on during daylight hours, and when weather conditions are appropriate to ensure that the burn can be completed in a safe and controlled manner. The planned burn area is approximately 40 acres, with a plan to burn approximately 8-10 acres per day. Similar controlled burns were conducted in the area mauka of Puamana in 2013 and on the island of Molokaʻi in 2015.