4300 Acres Burned in Hāli‘imaile Brush Fire, 75% Contained

July 9, 2020, 2:38 AM HST · Updated July 9, 4:42 PM
Wendy Osher · 24 Comments
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4300 ACRES CHARRED, HALIIMAILE FIRE 75% CONTAINED

(2:30 p.m. Update)

An estimated 4,300 acres was charred in the Hāliʻimaile fire that started early Wednesday morning. Containment is now 75%. There are 25 Maui fire personnel on scene this afternoon, including air support from the department’s Air 1 and Air 2 helicopters. Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro said numerous utility poles were damaged in the burn area. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Conditions on scene are clear, with strong steady trades throughout the day (estimated at 20 mph with higher gusts). All roads remain open at this time.

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    (Update 1:24 p.m. 7.9.20)

    Maui fire crews continue firefighting efforts to tame a large brush fire that charred thousands of acres below Hāli‘imaile yesterday.

    The fire started early Wednesday morning near Kailua Gulch and came within a half-mile of Skill Village in Pā‘ia on Wednesday night, prompting fire crews to cut a large firebreak to protect area residents.

    Air drops continue this afternoon as crews respond to flare ups at various locations within the burn area.  There were also periods of heavy engagement this morning, delaying reconnaissance efforts.

    All roads remain open.  An official update is due out shortly.

    (Update 9:40 a.m. 7.9.20)

    Hāli‘imaile Road is now OPEN in both directions as of 9:40 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2020.  All roads are now OPEN following multiple closures related to the ongoing brush fire in Hāli‘imaile.

    Late Wednesday night, the fire came within a half mile of Skill Village in Pā‘ia prompting fire crews to cut a large firebreak to protect area residents who were advised to stay on alert for possible evacuations.

    The fire started early Wednesday morning near Kailua Gulch below Hāli‘imaile Road and has since burned at least 3,000 acres. Updated containment was not immediately available.

    (Update: 2:20 a.m. 7.9.20)

    Haleakalā Highway is now OPEN in both directions. Hāli‘imaile Road remains closed from the Haleakalā Highway to the Hāli‘imaile General Store.  An ongoing brush fire that started early Wednesday morning, has now burned an estimated 3,000 acres of brush.

    The fire started near Kailua Gulch below Hāli‘imaile Road.

    On Wednesday afternoon, non-essential employees were evacuated from the Central Maui Landfill, EKO Compost facility and the Ameron Quarry.

    Late Wednesday night, the fire came within a half mile of Skill Village in Pā‘ia prompting fire crews to cut a large firebreak to protect area residents who were advised to stay on alert for possible evacuations.  While there is no immediate threat at this time, residents are advised to remain vigilant.

    During the height of the blaze, 40 firefighter personnel were on scene in addition to three helicopters, multiple tankers and dozers.

    Firefighters continue to work overnight to contain the blaze.  Containment was last projected at 30% on Wednesday night.

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    Photo Credit: Lt. Ryan Rodrigues

    (12:49 a.m. 7.8.20)

    Firefighters cut large firebreak to protect Skill Village residents

    Maui Fire Department crews have cut a large firebreak to protect residents in the area of Skill Village in Pā‘ia due to the Hāli‘imaile fire.

    The approximately 3,000-acre fire remains about a half mile away and does not pose any immediate threat, according to county officials. Fire crews continue to work on-scene and police are ready to respond, if needed.

    County officials advise that residents should remain vigilant, but do not need to evacuate their homes at this time.

    “Mahalo to our first responders for their tireless efforts to protect our community,” said Mayor Michael Victorino. “Please remember to stay safe and stay away from the area for everyone’s safety.”

    (Update: 10:04 p.m. 7.8.20)

    Residents of Skill Village in Pāʻia Advised to be Prepared for Possible Evacuation

    The Hāliʻimaile brush fire is now burning in the Pāʻia area. The Maui Emergency Management Agency issued a notification at 10:04 p.m. (7.8.20) for Skill Village residents to “prepare your families, pets, and residences for possible evacuation if notified. Monitor for additional information and be prepared for possible evacuation.”

    The fire is about 2,500 to 3,000 acres in size and around a half a mile away. Winds are currently blowing away from the area, but Skill Village residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately if wind conditions change, according to a County update.

    Haleakalā Highway remains closed from Hāna Highway to Old Haleakalā Highway. Hāliʻimaile Road also remains closed. The public should stay away from the area.

    The Emergency Operations Center has been activated and Maui Emergency Management Agency is closely monitoring the situation. The American Red Cross also is standing by to provide assistance.

    “I want all the residents of Skill Village to prepare their family, children and pets for possible evacuation,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Our fire crews continue to work hard trying to control the fire and slow its spread. All residents should avoid the area to protect the safety of themselves and our first responders.”

    (Update: 9:44 p.m. 7.8 20)

    1900 Acres Burned in Hāli‘imaile Brush Fire, 30% Contained:
    Haleakalā Hwy and Hāli‘imaile Rd CLOSED

    Maui fire crews continue to battle a large brush fire in Hāli‘imaile.  The fire started near Kailua Gulch below Hāli‘imaile Road early Wednesday morning. The brush fire has burned a total 1,900 acres and was 30% contained at last report. Road closures remain in effect for Haleakalā Highway and Hāli‘imaile Road.  Earlier today, non-essential employees were evacuated from the Central Maui Landfill, EKO Compost facility and the Ameron Quarry. During the height of the blaze, 40 firefighter personnel were on scene in addition to three helicopters, multiple tankers and dozers.  Crews continue to monitor and battle the blaze into the night.

    (Update: 7:52 p.m. 7.8.20)

    There are no changes to our previous report.  Road closures remain in effect for Haleakalā Highway and Hāli‘imaile Road. Acres burned is 1,900 and containment remains at 30%.

    (Update: 4:22 p.m. 7.8.20)

    Maui police are reopening Pūlehu Road for now. Haleakalā Hwy (between Hāna Hwy-36 and Makani Road) remains closed. Hāli‘imaile Road also remains closed (from Haleakalā Hwy-37 to Hāli‘imaile General Store).

    • Haleakalā Hwy-37: from Hāna Hwy-36 to Makani Rd.
    • Hāli‘imaile Rd: from Haleakalā Hwy-37 to Hāli‘imaile General Store

    Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro said the fire has grown to 1,900 acres and remains 30% contained as of 5 p.m.

    There were some limited evacuations of area businesses.  According to Managing Director Sandy Baz, police have evacuated non-essential employees at the Central Maui Landfill, the EKO Compost area and also the Ameron Quarry.

    “Crews are actively working to contain and extinguish the fire,” said Baz. ”

    40 MFD personnel are on scene along with the department’s Air 1, Air 2 and Air 3 helicopters, three MFD Tankers, and several Dozers and Water Tankers from private companies.

    (Update: 3:30 p.m. 7.8.20) Haleakalā Hwy (Hwy 37), Hāli‘imaile Road and Pūlehu Road are all CLOSED in both directions until further notice

    • Haleakalā Hwy-37: from Hāna Hwy-36 to Makani Rd.
    • Hāli‘imaile Rd: from Haleakalā Hwy-37 to Hāli‘imaile General Store
    • Pūlehu RD: from Hansen Rd to the “Y” above the Landfill

    The fire was reported overnight near the Kailua Gulch below Hāli‘imaile Road.  The fire had burned at least 200 acres and was 30% contained at last report.

    According to Managing Director Sandy Baz, the fire has grown to 1,400 acres.  There were some limited evacuations of area businesses.

    (Update: 2:21 p.m. 7.8.20). Crews continue to battle a large brush fire below Hāli‘imaile Road,  that forced the closure of the Haleakalā Highway earlier this afternoon.

    There is a heavy backup in traffic on multiple area roads including: Hansen, Pūlehu Rd., Baldwin Avenue and Ōmaʻopio Road.  All roads are open except for Haleakalā Highway, which remains closed between Hāna Highway and the “Y” in the road near the Pukalani turn-off.

    The fire was reported overnight near the Kailua Gulch below Hāli‘imaile Road.  The fire had burned at least 200 acres and was 30% contained at last report.

    (Update: 1:27 p.m. 7.8.20) Haleakalā Highway is closed in both directions between Hana Highway and the “Y” in the Highway near the turn off to Pukalani.  Motorists headed down Haleakalā Hwy are being rerouted onto Hāli‘imaile Road.  Traffic on Hāli‘imaile Rd. is limited to a single lane, with traffic being alternated for the interim.

    (Update: 12:57 p.m. 7.8.20) The Hāli‘imaile fire has jumped Kailua Road and will result in the closure of Haleakalā from the Keahua Junction to the “Y” in the Highway near the turn off to Pukalani.  The closure is set to go into effect shortly as crews continue to battle the fire that started overnight near Kailua Gulch below Hāli‘imaile Road.

    (Update: 8:53 a.m. 7.8.20) Maui police will reopen one lane of travel on Hāli‘imaile Road shortly, however motorists are advised to avoid the area. One lane of travel will reopen coming out-bound from Hāli‘imaile.  Traffic in-bound to Hāli‘imaile remains closed.

    (Update: 7:50 a.m. 7.8.20)  A fire reported in Hāli‘imaile overnight has burned approximately 200 acres and is 30% contained as of 7:50 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

    Maui Fire Services Chief Rylan Yatsushiro said personnel are currently using heavy equipment to cut fire breaks around the perimeter of the fire. All other resources are working on securing the fire perimeter.

    There are four fire companies on scene including two tankers, the department’s Air-1 helicopter, an MFD Battalion Chief, and MFD Assistant Chief, two Mahi Pono tankers, a Mahi Pono dozer and an Alpha Construction dozer.

    Current conditions on scene are clear with light trades.  The cause of fire is unknown at this time.

    On the roadways, Hāli‘imaile Road is CLOSED from Haleakalā Highway to the Hāli‘imaile General Store due to the brush fire reported overnight at Kailua Gulch.

    Update: (7:40 a.m. 7.8.20) Hāli‘imaile Road is CLOSED from Haleakalā Highway to the Hāli‘imaile General Store due to a brush fire reported overnight at Kailua Gulch.

    Update: (7:32 a.m. 7.8.20) The department deployed air assets at first light this morning to assist in containment of the fire.  An official update from the department relating to total acreage burned, personnel on site and area impacts is due out shortly.

    Update (6 a.m. 7.8.20)  Just in: Hāli‘imaile Road from Haleakalā Hwy to the shooting range is CLOSED (as of 6 a.m.) due to a brush fire at the Kailua Gulch.  

    Update (4:30 a.m. 7.8.20) Fire crews are now using dozers to cut a fire break near the Haleakalā Highway / Keahua Junction. The brush fire continues to burn on a parcel of land below Hāli‘imaile Road.

    Update (1:40 a.m. 7.8.20) A fire crew from Hazmat 10 is among the latest units responding to the Hāli‘imaile fire, which continues to burn makai of Hāli‘imaile Road. The glow from the fire can be seen from nearby communities. No word yet on cause or estimated acreage burned.

    BRUSH FIRE: (12:30 a.m. 7.8.20) Maui fire crews are responding to a fire reported below Hāli‘imaile Road along Haleakalā Highway. Residents report seeing the glow of the fire from nearby communities.

    Hāliʻimaile fire, Day 2. (7.9.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile fire, Day 2. (7.9.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile fire, Day 2. (7.9.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile fire, Day 2. (7.9.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile fire, Day 2. (7.9.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile burn area, vantage from Olinda. 3,000 acres have burned since the fire was first reported early Wednesday morning. (7.9.20). PC: OGGTurbojets

    Hāliʻimaile fire on Thursday morning. 3,000 acres have burned since the fire was first reported early Wednesday morning. (7.9.20). PC: Val Toro

    Vantage from Hāliʻimaile. (10:40 p.m., 7.8.20) PC: Joshua Gibbins

    Vantage from Wailuku. (evening photo 7.8.20) PC: Jennifer Andrews

    Stable Rd / Hana Hwy. PC: Karmen Zorza Brown

    PC: Jon Maurillo

    PC: Tami Joslin

    PC: Tami Joslin

    PC: Erica Pilotin

    PC: @geegayle

    PC: @geegayle

    PC: Val Toro

    PC: Val Toro

    PC: Daina Collins

    PC: Kenneth Yanos

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20) PC: Val Toro

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20) PC: Tiana N Raiden Momoa

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20) PC: Carl Yoshihara

    Hāliʻimaile fire. View of the fire from Maluhia. (7.8.20) PC: Dollye Pawloski

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20) PC: Robin Pilus

    Hāliʻimaile fire 9:18 a.m. (7.8.20) PC: Jr Roger Rogelio Yadao

    Hāliʻimaile fire 9:18 a.m. (7.8.20) PC: Jr Roger Rogelio Yadao

    Hāliʻimaile fire 9:18 a.m. (7.8.20) PC: Jr Roger Rogelio Yadao

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20)  PC: Lindsay Ramos

    Hāliʻimaile fire. (7.8.20) PC: Travis Barrett

    Vantage from WAILUKU. (7.8.20) PC: Cathi Scritchfield

    (7.8.20) PC: Brittany n Brandan

    (7.8.20) PC: Juniper Ruby

    (7.8.20) PC: Brandon Robinson

    (7.8.20) PC: Brandon Robinson

    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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