Kahoʻolawe Fire Sparked by Catalytic Converter

April 16, 2016, 8:50 PM HST · Updated April 18, 5:01 AM
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Kahoolawe fire. Image credit: Whitney Kuehl

Kahoolawe fire. Image credit: Whitney Kuehl

A brush fire on Kahoʻolawe on Saturday afternoon was sparked by a vehicle’s catalytic converter.

The fire burned a total of 15 acres before being brought under control.

The incident was reported at 2:52 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, as dispatchers received numerous calls from individuals in south Maui reporting lots of smoke could be seen rising from the island.

Personnel from the Wailea fire station confirmed a large smoke column of smoke coming from the island and the department’s helicopter was dispatched to investigate.

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When Air 1 arrived, the pilot reported about 10 acres of brush and kiawe on fire. Air 2 was quickly dispatched to assist before the fire spread beyond control.

When both helicopters left the island at 6:20 p.m., the fire was 100% contained and had burned an additional five acres.

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