Maui News

UPDATE: West Maui Brush Fire Forces Evacuation of Homes and Closure of Highway and Kapalua Airport

October 22, 2019, 1:57 PM HST
* Updated October 23, 4:44 AM
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UPDATE 10:15 p.m. – The Maui Fire Department reported an estimated 45 percent containment of the Kahana Ridge Fire.

All roads have been reopened except for Kahana Nui Road. Residents living north of Kahana Nui will not have access to their home. All residents south of Kahana Nui in Kahana Ridge may access their homes via Hoohui Road.

Fire crews will continue to monitor and address potential threats from the estimated 964-acre fire. Air operations will recommence at first light Wednesday morning.

“I want to extend another heartfelt mahalo to our first responders and American Red Cross for their tireless work today,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “I continue to applaud our public and private partners for coming together to help our community.”

****ROAD CLOSURE UPDATE 10/22/19 AT 10:16 P.M.****

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All roads are open, except for Kahana Nui Road. Anyone living north of Kahana Nui Road will not have access to their home. Residents of Kahana Ridge may access their homes via Hoohui Road.

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UPDATE 10:12 p.m., Oct. 22, 2019

Kapalua Airport will reopen at 6 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 23) after closing today due to a brush fire. Electricity and telephone service have been restored. Passengers should confirm flight details with their airline prior to traveling to the airport.

*****UPDATE 10/22/19 AT 7:09 P.M.*****

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Road closures are now in effect for Hoohui and Kahana Nui Roads at Honoapiilani Highway.

*****UPDATE 10/22/19 AT 5:50 P.M.*****

A road closure at Olali Street and Mahinahina Street has been added to the list of road closures

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: The Maui Fire Department is fighting a fire in the West Maui area and working to protect structures in the Kahana Ridge and Ala Hoku subdivisions.

As of 5 p.m., the fire was about 964 acres, according to the fire department. About 40 fire personnel, three air units and several tankers and dozers from our county and private partners are responding to this fire.

Fire personnel are also working on protecting Maui Electric Co. utility poles located mauka of Kapalua Airport.

First responders evacuated homes in Kahana Ridge and Ala Hoku subdivisions as well as on Mahinahina Street due to the fire. Kapalua Airport was also closed and evacuated at around 2:30 p.m.

An emergency shelter was opened at the Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall at 5:30 p.m.; however, there are currently no sleeping accommodations. Those seeking shelter are asked to bring their own water and snacks.

The shelter is pet-friendly with volunteers from Maui Humane Society at the center. Pets must be crated with halter/collar and leash, and owners must provide pet food and water.

The following roads are closed due to the Kahana Ridge fire: Akahele Street, Ala Hoku Place, Kaka`analeo Drive, Honoapiilani Highway at Lower Honoapiilani Highway and Ho`ohui Road at Honoapiilani Highway.

Please be advised that road closures/openings may change immediately due to weather conditions. Motorists should avoid these areas to allow emergency personnel to address this fire.

The Maui Bus fixed route is running but delayed about 30 minutes. The commuter route also is in operation from the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua to Kahului.

“I want to strongly urge our residents and visitors to avoid the Kapalua area as our first responders fight this fire,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Please keep the families affected by these fires and our public safety personnel in your thoughts and prayers.”

The fire was originally reported at 1:18 p.m. and approximately 3 or 4 acres in size. The fire spread due to dry conditions and steady winds in the area, according to the fire department.

UPDATE: 4:20 P.M.

SHELTER OPENING FOR KAPALUA FIRE: Lahaina Civic Center will open at 5:30 p.m. pet friendly, please bring leash and crate.

Lahaina Civic Center will open at 5:30 p.m.

These are evacuation shelters to provide respite only. There will be no supplies or sleeping accommodations, you are advised to bring your own water and food. Shelter is pet friendly, pets must be collared, leashed, and crated, owner must provide food and water; a Maui Humane Society volunteer will be available on site.

Maui Emergency Management Agency will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.

UPDATE: 4:05 P.M.

Honoapiʻilani Highway is now closed at Hoʻohui Road. Other road closures include Akahele Street, Ala Hoku Place, Kaka’analeo Drive, Honoapiilani Highway at Lower Honoapiilani Highway.

Per Maui Police, motorists are advised to avoid the area in order to allow emergency personnel proper access to the fire.

UPDATE: 3:19 P.M.

County officials are evacuating Kahana Ridge, the Ala Hoku subdivision as well residents and visitors on Mahinahina Street due to the fire.

UPDATE: 2:52 P.M.

First reports of structure damage coming in with a rooftop on fire.

UPDATE: 2:28 P.M.

The Maui Police Department has initiated evacuations for homes at the top of Kakaʻalaneo Drive and Ala Hoku Place in Kahana.

Akahele Street, the main road that leads to Kapalua Airport, has been closed. Motorists are being asked to avoid the area while emergency personnel battle the blaze.

The brush fire has reached the airportʻs runway.

UPDATE 2:12 P.M.

MFD personnel are actively engaged in fighting a brush fire in Kahana, above the Kapalua Airport.  First reported at 1:18 pm, this fire was reported to be approximately 3 or 4 acres and spreading due to dry conditions and steady winds in the area.  Engine 3, Engine 11, Ladder 3, Tanker 3, Tanker 10, and Air 1 are on scene with a Firing Team also en route.

The fire has also forced the closure of Akahele Street which leads to Kapalua Airport. Maui Preparatory Academy has self-evacuated students as a precaution, according to school officials.

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A brush fire forced the evacuation and closure of Kapalua Airport this afternoon.

The fire was first reported at 1:18 p.m. Kahului Airport Manager Marvin Moniz said that an electronic notice was also sent to all airmen that Kapalua Airport was closed and that all flights there would have to be diverted to Kahului Airport.

Fire officials said high winds are helping to spread the flames quickly through the area, making the fire hard to contain. Just before 2 p.m. fire fighters were considering evacuating the Kahana Ridge area.

The state Department of Transportation released the following statement regarding the fire:

“Airport operations are temporarily suspended. Power lines have been damaged in the fire. Continue to check with your carrier for flight updates. More information to come.” 

Maui Now will continue to update the situation as more details become available.

Photo Credit Sandie Husom

Photo Credit Sandie Husom

Photo courtesy
Ileta Offermann, view of fire from Kahana Ridge Villas

Kahana Ridge Fire, 10.22.19. Pc: Stephanie Watson

Kahana Ridge Fire. 10.22.19. Pc: Rachel Melfe

Kahana Ridge Fire: 10.22.19. PC: John O’Leary
At the top of Hoohui Rd. At 5:45 pm

Kahana Ridge Fire. 10.22.19. PC: Linda Boyer.

Kahana Ridge Fire. 10.22.19. PC: Chanatcha Young

Kahana Ridge Fire. 10.22.19. PC: Jess Ranny Bencomo

Kahana Ridge Fire. 10.22.19. PC: Michael Ambrose

Kahana Ridge Fire. 10.22.19. PC: Jessica Malczewski

Kahana Ridge Fire. PC: Tyler Lutz

Kahana Ridge Fire. PC: Laurie Clark

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