Mā‘alaea Mauka Wildfire on Maui 70% Contained

October 3, 2019, 1:01 PM HST · Updated October 3, 1:01 PM
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Update: 12:20 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019

The Māʻalaea Mauka brush fire has consumed 4,100 acres and has been contained 70 percent as of noon today, the Maui Fire Department reports.  The Honoapiʻilani Highway was also reopened to traffic after a temporary closure that started at around 10:45 a.m. while crews built up a berm to prevent the fire from encroaching onto the highway.

The Fire Department’s Air 1 continues to make water drops, and ground crews that remain on scene include three engine companies, a tanker and a firing team assigned to strategically burn areas to contain the spread of flames. Personnel from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife are assisting.

The state and Maui Fire Department personnel have been using heavy equipment on Honoapiʻilani Highway from Mile Post 11 (King’s Trail) and the Ukumehame Firing Range. Contraflow traffic measure were started shortly before noon to relieve traffic in the vicinity of Papalaua on the Lahaina side of the Lahaina “Pali” Trail.

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Overnight, Maui Fire Department crews monitored the fire. Engine 1 and Mini 1 from Wailuku, and Ladder 3 and Tanker 3 from Lahaina addressed hot spots along Honoapiilani Highway and focused on protecting the Māʻalaea area.

No injuries have been reported. There are no current evacuations or emergency shelters open.

Emergency shelters at Maui High School and Princess Nahiʻenaʻena 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 closed this morning.

American Red Cross reported approximately 450 people at Maui High and 22 people at Princess Nahiʻenaʻena. 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 Makaʻala.”

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