Firefighting training exercise to be held in Puamana area

Maui County firefighters will undergo fire training to develop skills in fighting wildland fires using a prescribed or controlled fire above Honoapiilani Highway near the Puamana area in Lahaina next week.

The exercise will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The burn areas will consist of separate blocks, with one to two blocks being burned each day, according to a Maui County Fire Department news release.

The Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety wanted to assure the public “that all foreseeable hazards have been addressed and contingency plans have been developed,” according to the news release. “Firefighter and public safety are foremost the most important thing, our Number 1 priority as we begin this live fire training.”

Although weather conditions, including relative humidity and wind direction are taken into consideration, nearby residents should expect temporary smoke from any prescribed fire activity, and drivers should pay extra attention while traveling through or adjacent to the burn areas, according to the news release.

The Fire Department is working with West Maui Land Co., the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife, state Department of Health and Maui Police Department to conduct the exercise.

The Maui Incident Management Team will use the training exercises to satisfy national requirements to be certified as a Type 3 Incident Management Team.

According to the news release, a prescribed fire greatly reduces the potential for wildfire, removing the hazardous level of fuel on the property. The longer vegetation accumulates, the more destructive an eventual fire will be, burning hotter, traveling faster, and having unpredictable results, the news release says.

For more information, contact Lee Mainaga at 270-5542 or