Fires under investigation

A Maui Fire Department inspector and police were called to investigate a series of three fires started in different spots in Kahului beginning at 7:09 p.m. Friday, Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga reported.

In the first blaze, Kahului firefighters were dispatched to fight a half-acre brush fire at Maui Lani Parkway about 200 feet west of and above the golf course, Mainaga said.

Then, as firefighters were responding to the first fire, an alarm came in for another brush fire – this one an acre that was burning off Mahaolu Street. Firefighters from Wailuku and Kahului were sent to douse that blaze.

Later, a third fire was reported at a location off Kuihelani Highway. That blaze scorched a 1,000-square-foot area, Mainaga said.

All the fires were reported extinguished by 8:54 p.m., he said. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

The brush fires come in the wake of Maui fire officials warning that a number of suspicious, unscheduled sugar cane fires had broken out since mid-May. Officials reported that the cane fires had blackened about 42.5 acres and that Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. had lost an estimated $182,500 of its sugar crop.

The cane fires took place in easily accessible areas, and officials said they believe they were intentionally set because there were no obvious points of ignition, such as downed power lines, lightning strikes or campfires.