Ceremonial Fire Ignites Brush in Upper Kanaio

April 4, 2016, 12:26 AM HST · Updated April 4, 12:26 AM
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Maui firefighters responded to a brush fire reported in the upper Kanaio area at 11:21 a.m. on Sunday, April 3, 2016.

Kula firefighters arrived at 11:49 a.m. to find that Kanaio area residents had already knocked down all active flames, but about a half-acre of grass was still smoldering. This was located about 3⁄4 mile mauka of Bully’s Burgers, at Mile 18 of the Piʻilani Highway.

Fire crews mopped up the area until calling it extinguished at 1:45 p.m.

Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said the fire was caused after an ember from a ceremonial fire ignited the dry grass downwind. According to department reports, flames came to within 25 feet of a dwelling but did not cause any damages.

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No injuries were reported.

Engine crews from Kula and Makawao were assisted by a water tanker unit from Kahului. Air 1 was also dispatched but was canceled while en route.

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