Top Maui Now Headlines: Sept. 6, 2018
A brush fire in Olowalu burned around 200 acres, and evacuated 30 homes on Friday, Aug. 31. It started around 10 a.m. behind a paintball field north of Olowalu Store, and quickly spread up the hillside through dry brush and kiawe. Around 50 people were evacuated – but fire crews protected all structures, and evacuees were allowed back in their homes by the afternoon. No damages and no injuries have been reported; investigators have not yet determined a cause.
Seven people were airlifted from ʻĪao Valley after becoming stranded on a high spot in the middle of the river by quickly rising waters. The incident was reported around 4:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3. The group consisted of two local adults and three children –ages 3, 5 and 11– along with two adult visitors. The swift water rescue was successful; all were reported in good condition and refused medical attention. See this story in our news section for hiking advice before you head out.
Workers at a trucking company in Kahului found a live skunk in a container while unloading ceramic tiles on Thursday, Aug. 30. They quickly closed the doors to keep the apparent stowaway contained. State ag inspectors then trapped the animal and sent it to O‘ahu to be tested for the rabies virus. It’s been identified as a striped skunk weighing about five pounds. Skunks are prohibited here, and Hawai‘i is the only state in the U.S. and one of the few places in the world that remains rabies-free.
Hawai‘i’s tourism industry has set a new record for monthly visitors in July. According to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the total amount of visitors for the month was 939,360. And Maui saw the highest increases in visitor arrivals in July compared to the larger islands. The numbers show the Valley Isle saw a 12% rise in visitor arrivals and an 11% rise in visitor spending, compared to around 2% on O‘ahu, and declines on Hawai‘i Island for the second month in a row.