Honoapi‘ilani Highway Remains Open This Morning, Fire Burns 4,100 Acres
Maui Fire Department addressing hot spots along Honoapiilani Highway
UPDATE 8:00 a.m. – Maui Fire Department crews monitored the Maalaea Mauka brush fire through Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning. Engine 1 and Mini 1 from Wailuku, and Ladder 3 and Tanker 3 from Lahaina are addressing hot spots along Honoapiilani Highway and focused on protecting the Maalaea area.
Two helicopters are in the air for fire suppression and reconnaissance. We will be updating estimates on acreage and containment later this morning.
No injuries have been reported. No other evacuations were ordered Wednesday night.
There are no active road closures at this time. Traffic is moving in and out of Lahaina.
Emergency shelters at Maui High School and Princess Nahienaena Elementary School in Lahaina closed at 7 a.m. this morning. Velma McWayne Santos Community Center (Wailuku Community Center) and Lahaina Civic Center opened at 6:30 a.m. to allow the two schools to open for students. Both centers are tentatively scheduled to close at 9 a.m.
American Red Cross reported approximately 450 people at Maui High and 22 people at Princess Nahienaena. Maui Visitors Bureau provided over 250 inflatable mattresses for people at the shelters.
“I want to thank our fire and police departments for their tireless work in battling this brush fire and keeping our people safe,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “We could not have done this without the help of all our County Departments as well as our private and governmental partners. We are very grateful for their efforts to take care of our community.”
“We want to remind the public to continue watching and listening for emergency messaging and observe all directions by police personnel,” Maui Emergency Management Agency Administrator Herman Andaya said. “There is still potential for flare-ups and road closures, especially as winds pick up later today. The public is asked to remain vigilant and sign up for emergency alerts through Maka`ala.”
The Honoapiʻilani Highway remains open in both directions following an extended road closure yesterday due to firefighting operations and reduced visibility.
The road was open to contraflow at around 9 p.m., and completely open in both directions just before midnight.
The Māʻalaea Mauka fire started yesterday morning in the West Maui Mountains in Māʻalaea and advanced through the Pali area to Papalaua.
A total of 4,100 acres were scorched in the incident. Fire crews remained on scene overnight to monitor the fire and continue firefighting operations.
Motorists are reminded that road conditions and closures may change immediately and without warning, and intermittent closures are a possibility if conditions warrant.
The fire prompted the evacuation of nearby residents and businesses on Māʻalaea Bay Road on Wednesday evening. Emergency shelters were set up for overnight use at Princess Nahiʻenaʻena Elementary School in Lahaina and Maui High School in Kahului.