Maui News

Mayor Victorino Urges Vigilance: Wildfires Burn 9,200 Acres

July 14, 2019, 6:55 PM HST
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UPDATE: 5:45 p.m. 7.14.19
County of Maui Update

Mayor Michael Victorino asked residents and visitors to exercise caution Sunday in the wake of wildfires that have kicked up clouds of dirt and ash from Upcountry Maui to Kaupo and South Maui.

County of Maui / BRIAN PERRY photo
A haze of dust and ash envelop Haleakala on Sunday afternoon. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino urged people with respiratory problems to consider staying indoors in the wake of wildfires that burned 9,200 acres Thursday and Friday.

Mayor Victorino said he was concerned that windblown dust and ash might hamper visibility on roadways, including North Kihei Road and Maui Veterans Highway, and he said people with respiratory conditions should consider staying indoors, in air conditioning, if possible.

“Stay vigilant. Stay safe,” Mayor Victorino said. “Stay out of harm’s way.”

Fire flare-ups should be reported by calling emergency dispatchers at 911.

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Maui Fire Department crews and tankers patrolled the wildfire perimeters Sunday, putting out flare-ups throughout the day. The department’s Air One helicopter doused hot spots Sunday morning.

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Fire officials reported responding to numerous calls of “smokers,” many in the middle of the burn areas, which fire officials said are of a lower priority than those near the edges, or perimeter, of burned areas. The fire may smolder for a week, fire officials said.

The Maui Fire Department maintained its containment assessment for the Central/South Maui 9,000-acre wildfire at 80 percent Sunday afternoon. Containment also stayed at 90 percent for the 200-acre fire first reported at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the vicinity of the new Safeway and Lowe’s in Kahului.

All roads remain open. There are no current evacuations.

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Mayor Michael Victorino thanked firefighters who’ve been working tirelessly since the wildfires broke out Thursday and Friday. “Their selfless dedication to duty and to the protection of our community is an inspiration for all of us,” he said.

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