Maui News

West Maui Fire Day 2: “Fire on the move” in mountain ridges above Launiupoko

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Background image: West Maui fire 6:50 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. PC: Elaine Mc Sherry/. Foreground: West Maui fire perimeter as of Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2022. The fire has burned 1,200 acres and is 40% contained. PC: Maui Fire Department

2,000 acres, containment remains at 40%

A stubborn fire in West Maui has scorched an estimated 2,000 acres and containment remained at 40%, according to an 11 a.m. update issued by the Maui Emergency Management Agency. Updated coverage from Day 3 is now posted at the following LINK.

  • Day 5 coverage: LINK.
  • Day 4 coverage: LINK.
  • Day 3 coverage: LINK.
  • Day 2 coverage: LINK.
  • Day 1 coverage: LINK.

Crews continue to monitor the West Maui fire for hot spots

Update: 9 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022

Four West Maui schools are back in session today after they were closed on Wednesday due to nearby firefighting efforts.  The West Maui Brush Fire has burned 1,200 acres since it was first reported at around mid-day on Tuesday.  The upper Launiupoko subdivision was placed on alert last night for potential evacuation, but reactivation of shelter space was not needed.

Alert: West Maui brush fire on move in mountain ridges above Launiupoko Subdivision

Update: 4:24 p.m., Nov. 9, 2022

Evacuation is possible for residents in the upper portion of the Launiupoko subdivision, according to a County of Maui update issued on Wednesday afternoon. 

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County officials said Maui police officers were going door to door this afternoon to alert residents living in the upper portions of the Launiupoko Subdivision that they may need to evacuate if a brush fire spreading along mountain ridges above them moves toward their homes later this afternoon.

A mandatory evacuation had not been ordered as of 4:15 p.m. today; however, residents should be aware that they could potentially be ordered to leave their homes. 

  • West Maui fire after jumping the river, Nov. 9, 2022. Vantage: taken from Pua Niu Way Launiupoko/Lahaina. PC: Bob C
  • West Maui fire after jumping the river, Nov. 9, 2022. Vantage: taken from Pua Niu Way Launiupoko/Lahaina. PC: Bob C
  • West Maui fire flare up 2:30-3 p.m., Nov. 9, 2022. PC: Mccall Hartline
  • West Maui fire after jumping the river, Nov. 9, 2022. Vantage: taken from Pua Niu Way Launiupoko/Lahaina. PC: Bob C
  • West Maui fire 7:24 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.
  • West Maui fire 6:50 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022. PC: Elaine Mc Sherry
  • West Maui fire 7:24 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.

The Lahaina Civic Center is on standby for use as a shelter in case evacuations become necessary. County officials say a shelter location will be announced if and when it is opened.

The Maui Emergency Management Agency remained partially activated this afternoon.

The brush fire has already burned an estimated 1,200 acres since it was first reported at around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Kauaula Valley. Earlier today, fire officials had estimated that they had the fire 40% contained.

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As of this afternoon, there are no road closures.

Steep and rough terrain continues to pose difficulties for firefighting efforts. Firefighters continue to work on the ground to secure the fire perimeter in areas accessible to firefighting vehicles.

“Residents in the upper portions of the Launiupoko Subdivision need to be alert to the movement of the fire and comply quickly if an evacuation order is issued,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “Mahalo to our firefighters and community partners, including State of Hawaiʻi Forestry personnel, Goodfellow Bros. and West Maui Land Co.”

The state Department of Education anticipates that it will be able to reopen four West Maui campuses that were impacted by closures today.  Those schools will reopen tomorrow (Nov. 10, 2022) barring any further developments.   Friday, Nov. 11, is the Veterans Day holiday and all public schools, county, state and federal offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.

West Maui schools to reopen Thursday, Nov. 10

Update 2:21 p.m., Nov. 9, 2022

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In consultation with the Maui Fire Department and Maui Emergency Management Agency officials, the four Lahaina campuses that were closed today (Lahainaluna High School, Lahaina Intermediate, Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary School and King Kamehameha III Elementary School) can safely reopen to students and staff tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 10, and resume school operations.

As a reminder, all public schools will be closed in observance of the Veterans Day holiday on Friday, Nov. 11.

Morning updates: Fire burns 1,200 acres, 40% contained

Update: 10:10 a.m., 9:37 a.m., Nov. 9, 2022

Firefighting operations continue throughout the day today on the West Maui fire.  Air operations restarted at first light today with four helicopters conducting water drops as steep and rough terrain continue to pose a challenge.  

Firefighters on the ground are also continuing work in securing the fire perimeter in areas accessible to firefighting vehicles.  

As of this morning, the fire is now considered 40% contained, with an estimated 1200 acres burned.  Currently, there are no evacuations or road closures in place.  

County officials say the emergency shelter that was established at the Lahaina Civic Center, closed this morning. The Maui Emergency Management Agency remains partially activated.

“According to MEMA, there’s no imminent threat to residents at this time, and no mandatory evacuations. The agency continues to monitor the fire and will have a shelter on standby in case evacuations become necessary,” according to a County press release. 

“I ask West Maui residents and visitors to stay well-informed and avoid areas where firefighters are responding to hot spots or working to contain the fire,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. 

As a result of the fire, four West Maui public schools are closed today including: Lahainaluna High School, Lahaina Intermediate, Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary School and King Kamehameha III Elementary School.

MFD extended thanks to community partners for their assistance with the firefighting efforts including:  State of Hawaiʻi Forestry (equipment and personnel), Goodfellow Bros (heavy equipment and tankers), and West Maui Land Co. (heavy equipment and tankers). 

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