Kahikinui Fire 100% Contained, Evacuations Lifted, 300 Acres Burned

November 21, 2019, 3:46 PM HST · Updated November 22, 11:01 AM
Wendy Osher · 0 Comments
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    Update: 9:28 a.m. Nov. 22, 2019

    A fire in the remote East Maui area of Kahikinui is now 100% contained, according to Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro.  The fire which started yesterday at around 1:40 p.m. in the area of MP 26 of Piʻilani Highway scorched an estimated 300 acres and was fueled by strong winds. Personnel will continue to monitor the fire throughout the day today. The cause of this fire is undetermined.

    The fire resulted in area evacuations and a temporary highway closure.  Those impacts were lifted before nightfall on Thursday.

    Update: 7 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019

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    A fire in Kahikinui burned an estimated 300 acres and was 30 percent contained by nightfall.

    At 6:45 p.m., evacuation of the Kahikinui Homesteads had been lifted by the Maui Fire Department and a temporary shelter that opened at Keokea Community Center has been closed.

    County officials say dozers will continue to cut fire breaks along the fire perimeter into the night, as well as monitor and secure the perimeter.

    As of 7 p.m., county officials said the fire was not actively moving or growing.

    There were no reported injuries and road closures have been lifted.

    The fire was first reported at 1:40 p.m. at Milepost 26 on Piʻilani Highway.

    The Emergency Operations Center at the Maui Emergency Management Agency was partially activated in response to the wildfire, but has returned to normal operations. The response to the fire included multiple fire units, air support and heavy equipment.

    Update: 5:39 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019

    Piʻilani Highway is now open in all directions.  Crews remain on scene for fire fighting operations near Mile 27 in Kahikinui.

    Update: 5:09 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019

    Maui police say traffic is now being alternated along the Piʻilani Highway in the Kahikinui area of East Maui. The fire is still active so motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.

    Update: 4:05 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019

    Maui firefighters continue to battle a brush fire in the Kahikinui area of East Maui.

    County officials say the fire is being fanned by strong winds and has already grown to at least 100 acres.

    The blaze was moving northwest toward the Kahikinui subdivision and residents of at least a dozen homes were being evacuated, according to a press release update from Maui County Communications Director Brian Perry.

    Emergency management officials were working on setting up a shelter for residents at last report.

    The fire was first reported at 1:40 p.m. at Milepost 26 on Piʻilani Highway. A portion of the highway between Milepost 25 and Kīpahulu Park is closed while crews respond to the fire.

    “I ask residents and visitors to be cautious and vigilant and stay away from this area of East Maui,” said Maui Mayor Michael Victorino.

    Fire officials say the response includes multiple fire units, air support and heavy equipment.

    Update: 3:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 2019

    A brush fire burning mauna of the Piʻilani Highway in East Maui (backside toward Hāna) has forced the closure of a portion of the highway.  Police say the fire is in the area of Mile 27.  The highway is closed from Mile 2 through to Kīpahulu National Park.

    Motorists are asked to avoid the area while fire crews work the scene.

    Kahikinui fire (11.21.19). Photo courtesy: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety via County of Maui.

    Kahikinui fire (11.21.19). Photo courtesy: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety via County of Maui.

    Kahikinui fire (11.21.19). Photo courtesy: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety via County of Maui.

    Kahikinui fire (11.21.19). Photo courtesy: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety via County of Maui.

    Kahikinui fire (11.21.19). Photo courtesy: Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety via County of Maui.

    Wendy Osher
    Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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