Pukalani Brush Fire Burns 200 Acres

June 16, 2016, 2:57 PM HST · Updated June 17, 1:49 PM
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Pukalani brush fire (6.16.16) Photo credit: Robin Pilus

Pukalani brush fire (6.16.16) Photo credit: Robin Pilus

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Update: 8:15 p.m. 6/16/16.

At 2:21 p.m. on Thursday June 16, 2016, firefighters in Upcountry Maui responded to a brush fire that started up to the rear of residential homes on Akalani Loop in Pukalani.

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There are currently 26 firefighters from 5 companies, 2 water tankers, and a battalion chief on scene. There were 3 helicopters conducting water drops throughout the afternoon.

So far the fire has scorched an estimated 200 acres of brush on the south and west sides of Akalani Loop.

Winds of around 25 mph spread the flames quickly downwind, but it eventually reached pineapple and green sugar cane fields that helped to stop the fire.

During the height of the blaze, flames came to within 30 feet of Akalani Loop homes, and for a short time, residents were evacuated when the fire threatened about a dozen structures. Residents have since been let back into their homes.

Makawao firefighters were first on scene at 2:31 p.m. but were hampered in fighting the fire because of limited access getting to the leading edge of the fire.

The fire was burning in a deep gulch behind homes and crews initially were not able to get fire trucks across the 100 foot deep gulch to where they needed it.

As of 7:15 p.m., all of the active fire has been knocked down by helicopters and firefighters are now entering the mop-up stages.

Firefighter’s have not yet determined what started the fire, but know that it started somewhere near homes on the Akalani Loop side of the gulch.

There have been no reports of injuriesor structures damaged.

Fire crews will remain on scene throughout the night and will be monitoring the area for flare-ups.

PUKALANI BRUSH FIRE: 2:32 p.m. 6/16/16.

Maui fire crews are responding to a report of a brush fire near ʻĀina Lani Drive and Akalani Loop, in a gulch below the Kamehameha Schools Maui campus.

Initial reports indicate that the fire had burned about a quarter acre of brush.

The fire was advancing toward an old pineapple field at last report and crews were working to keep the fire from nearby homes.

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