Fourth of July busy for firefighters

Four fireworks-related fires were among 35 alarms that kept Maui firefighters busy on the Fourth of July.

In addition to the fires determined to be fireworks-related, firefighters responded to four other fires, three vehicle accidents and what turned into two mountain rescues Thursday and early Friday, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

Three of the fireworks-related fires were of trash cans on fire with visible fireworks remnants in the debris. Two were reported at 3:15 and 9:28 p.m. Thursday at the Honolua Bay lookout, and another was reported at 11:48 p.m. at Banyan Tree Park.

Residents confirmed that children were playing with fireworks in another fire that burned approximately 7,500 square feet of brush at Kuhio Place in the Hawaiian Homes neighborhood in Waiehu, Mainaga said.

No evidence of fireworks was found in three other fires, including one at 8:27 p.m. in a rubbish bin in the parking lot of Pukalani Community Center. At 9:08 p.m., a grass fire burned a 100-square-foot area on Mahi Ko Street in Paia. At midnight, a fire burned 7,500 square feet of brush at Wai’inu Place and Waiale Road in Wailuku.

Firefighters also responded to an unauthorized burn at 10:57 p.m. on the beach fronting a residence on Halama Street in Kihei.

The three vehicle accidents included one at 9:48 p.m. at Kaakolu and Kalena streets in Lahaina.

In another crash around 10:42 p.m. at Waiehu Beach Road and Eha Street, medics transported two patients in serious condition to Maui Memorial Medical Center. The driver fled after a single-car crash at Akahele Street and Lower Honoapiilani Road at 11:17 p.m., Mainaga said.

A fire rescue crew aboard the Fire Department’s Air One helicopter also airlifted to safety a woman who injured her ankle while with a hunting party in the Makawao Forest Reserve. That rescue, in response to a 1:15 p.m. call, turned into an overnight search when one of two men in the hunting party couldn’t be found after he left to return to a truck. The man was located and airlifted out of the area early Friday.

The other Fourth of July alarms included medical calls and “good intent calls” by people reporting what turned out to be false alarms, Mainaga said.