Fire scorches 100 acres in fallow field

Football fans at War Memorial Stadium watch a game Thursday night while a brush fire lights up Central Maui and blackens former sugar cane fields. The blaze was fully contained at 2:03 a.m. Friday. It consumed about 100 acres. A cause had not been determined as of Friday night. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

A brush fire that consumed 100 acres of former sugar cane fields and lit up Central Maui on Thursday night was contained but not extinguished as of Friday evening, Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said.

Passing motorists alerted firefighters at 3:56 p.m. Thursday to the fire that started on the south grassy shoulder of Haleakala Highway in the vicinity of North Firebreak Road, he said. Kahului firefighters were on the scene at 4:04 p.m., and by then it had grown to 2 to 3 acres and could not be contained.

Gusty trade winds fanned the fire, spreading it quickly into a fallow cane field, Taomoto said.

Two helicopter crews made water dumps on the fire until flights were suspended at 7 p.m.

By then, the fire covered an estimated 100 acres.

The fire did not affect traffic because winds blew smoke and flames away from the highway.

Fire crews remained at the scene and declared the fire fully contained at 2:03 a.m. Friday, Taomoto said.

Two engine companies and two water tanker crews were mopping up the area into the afternoon. Crews were planning to remain in the area Friday night to search for and put out hot spots before declaring the fire extinguished, he said.

Fire officials had not determined the fire’s cause Friday night.