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Fire threatens Kahikinui homes

A fire threatened homes in the Kahikinui area on Thursday afternoon. County of Maui / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

At least a dozen homes in Kahikinui were evacuated late Thursday afternoon as an estimated 100-acre wildfire approached the area, according to a county news release.

A portion of Piilani Highway between Milepost 25 and Kipahulu Park was closed Thursday afternoon. At 5 p.m., the county reported alternating traffic allowed through the area.

Emergency management officials were working on setting up a shelter for residents, fire officials reported.

The fire was first reported at 1:40 p.m. at Milepost 26 on Piilani Highway. Fanned by strong winds, the blaze moved northwest toward the homes late Thursday afternoon, the news release said.

Responding to the fire were multiple Fire Department units, helicopters and heavy equipment.

“I ask residents and visitors to be cautious and vigilant and stay away from this area of East Maui,” Mayor Michael Victorino said.