Southeast Maui Brush Fire Scorches 5,300 acres

Five separate fires began along Piilani Highway in Kahikinui, Maui, Monday night around 1800 hrs, according to fire officials. Areas downwind of the quickly-spreading blaze were promptly evacuated as flames forced the closure of Piilani Highway over a four-mile stretch.

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RZAlert Dashboard view of Maui’s 5,300 acre blaze.

The firefight continued this week as local crews attempted to suppress further spread and protect residents in the Kahikinui Homesteads area on the south side of Haleakala. Fire officials stated that bulldozers have been cutting firebreaks above the mauka fire flank and around homes in the Kahikinui Homesteads. Most of the blaze has been inaccessible to ground engines and crews, and air tanker and helicopter water drops have been the only means of suppression.

As of Thursday afternoon the fire continued to have flare ups and interior pockets burning. Maui County GIS mapped the fire at 5,300 acres, showing that it burned all the way to the ocean below the highway as well as far upslope toward Haleakala Crater to an elevation of about 3,500 feet on the mauka side of Piilani Highway. As of Friday morning, the containment of the blaze is being reported at 40%.

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