Unscheduled Cane Fire Burns 500 Acres Off Pūlehu Road
Maui firefighters responded to a brush fire on Pūlehu Road at 12:27 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.
Kahului firefighters were on scene at 12:36 p.m. and found about five acres of sugar cane burning just off the south side of Pūlehu Road, and a half-mile mauka of the Central Maui Landfill.
Representatives from Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company arrived and confirmed it was a cane fire in fields not yet scheduled to be burned. HC&S personnel with heavy equipment arrived and kept the fields from spreading to the south, in the Kīhei direction.
Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said the fire department helicopter was brought in to make an assessment flight since crews did not have a good vantage point and could not determine the size of the fire or how swiftly it was moving. HC&S personnel eventually stopped the unscheduled fire.
Authorities say the fire consumed 315 acres of sugar cane from two separate fields and around 200 acres of brush.
The cause of the unscheduled cane fire has been classified as undetermined.
At 3:22 p.m. firefighters left the scene and HC&S personnel took over the final operations to extinguish the fire.
A battalion chief, two engines and two water tankers from Kahului, Kula, and Wailea responded to the incident.
Maui fire crews are responding to a brush fire in the Central Maui area. The fire was reported at around 12:40 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016 above Puʻunēnē near Omaopio and Pūlehu Roads. Emergency responders are on scene. Traffic was not impacted and no structures were threatened at last report.
The Maui Fire Department’s Air-1 helicopter was dispatched to the scene.